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From very early on in its existence, the ILGWU had need for legal counsel, and this was handled in the union's main offices in cooperation with hired attorneys. As the union grew and especially after the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, the union found cause to establish a Legal Department. The department provided general legal counsel to the union and its affiliates, worked to develop collective bargaining agreement terms, and represented the ILGWU in litigation and arbitration. After the formation of the Master Agreements Department in 1965, the responsibilities for developing CBA terms shifted to the new department.