ILGWU ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY
Founded in 1900 by local union delegates representing about 2,000 members in cities in the
northeastern United States, the ILGWU grew in geographical scope, membership size, political
influence to become one of the most powerful forces in American organized labor by mid-century.
Representing workers in the women's garment industry, the ILGWU worked to improve working and
living conditions of its members through collective bargaining agreements, training programs,
health care facilities, cooperative housing, educational opportunities, and other efforts. In
1995, the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) to form
the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE).