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?
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Education and Culture." (Viewed on September 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/14921/lightbox2>.