Education and Culture
Excerpt about the ILGWU from LIFE Magazine
I.L.G.W.U. objectives lie in three fields, whose 1, 2, 3, both in importance and chronological sequence are 1) Economic; 2) Educational and Social; 3) Political.
The union’s clubrooms, its dances and its games fill a social gap which might elsewhere be filled by a church or Y.M.C.A. The most spectacular manifestation of the social aspect is…I.L.G.W.U.’s million dollar Unity House.
…Yetta Henner lives in New York City, is poor, works as a finisher (she snips loose threads off rayon panties) in the Mitchel Schneider shop and belongs to I.L.G.W.U.’s Local 62. So Yetta…exercises, learns, dances within her union.
- Why do you think the Union has social and cultural objectives for its members that go beyond what happens in the workplace?
- How do these union-provided services benefit the union and how do they benefit workers?
- What do you see in this picture? What do you notice about the people in the picture? (Don’t analyze, infer or describe. Just tell what you see.)
- Read the text in the box on the picture. Does this caption add to your understanding of the picture? If so, how?
- Look again at the picture. What else do you notice about what’s happening in this picture now that you’ve read the caption?
- Why do you think the union had its own theater and why would workers be involved in it?
- How are the values you identified in the first question demonstrated in the picture itself?
- How do the pictures of the past union leaders (behind the dancers) relate or connect to the rehearsal?
- Why do you think the ILGWU’s Unity House recreational facility sponsored talks on topics such as social psychology, as pictured here, or art history, for example?
- What do you notice about the people in the audience?
- What do you think the union members attending such lectures together in the Unity House setting brought back to their work lives from these experiences?