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International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU)

Fannia M. Cohn

Fannia M. Cohn led one of the largest trade unions in the US, but clashed with male leadership for years over her belief in the importance of creating independent institutions to educate workers.

Theresa Wolfson

Theresa Wolfson’s career led her down two parallel paths as a labor activist and as an educator of both college students and workers.

Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Clara Lemlich Shavelson pushed union leaders to recognize the importance of women in the labor movement and organized vital demonstrations for worker’s rights and cost-of-living issues.

Pauline Newman

Pauline Newman made massive strides for workers’ rights, especially women workers, by building bridges between many different factions.

Rose Finkelstein marries in true union style

December 25, 1921

Union organizer Rose Finkelstein Norwood said, "When I saw a detective coming, I’d hide in the coats."

Rose Finkelstein leads successful strike

April 20, 1919

Rose Finkelstein leads 8,000 women in successful six-day strike against New England Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Labor History Landmark: No. 4 The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Headquarters

The Top 11 Labor History Landmarks in New York City is a blog series on Jewesses with Attitude created in honor of Women's History Month and the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Waist Factory fire. Learn more about the series here, or check out JWA's online walking tour.

10 Things You Should Know About Fannia Cohn

  1. Fannia Cohn, born in 1885, grew up in a well-to-do family in what was the western part of the Russian empire:  Kletzk, now part of Belarus. She was educated at home, and by the time she was 15, she was involved in secret revolutionary activities.

  2. Just before turning 20, she and her brother immigrated to the U.S. aided by wealthy relatives who were already here. Fannia’s first job in the U.S. was with the American Jewish Women’s Committee helping other Jewish women arriving at Ellis Island.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU)." (Viewed on December 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/international-ladies-garment-workers-union-ilgwu>.

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