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Social Unionism in Action
Unity in the 1910s and the 1980s
Photograph from “The Inheritance,” ILGWU Archives, Kheel Center, Cornell University.
Garment workers carry signs with Yiddish, Italian and English versions of “In Unity is Our Strength,” from a demonstration in Union Square in the early 20th century.
ILGWU Archives (578PB17P9H), Kheel Center, Cornell University.
Members of Local 99 march in New York City Central Labor Council’s Labor Day Parade in the early 1980s, carrying American flags and a sign in Spanish proclaiming “We are one family of unity: every race, culture and color.”
One early highlight of the ILGWU’s support for immigrant rights was the stand it took—alone in the labor movement—in opposition to the Immigration Act of 1924 which drastically limited immigration, particularly from Asian and Eastern European countries.