Media Reports: Garment Workers

Inside a garment shop, 1977. LAPL.

Garment workers and their unions have struggled for a century to create stable and healthy working conditions in their industry. In the 1920s, the industry boomed in Los Angeles as eastern producers moved west and innovated new clothing styles. The workforce at the time, as it is now, was largely women, a mix of Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans and Jewish immigrants and Jewish Americans. In the 1930s, these workers launched a citywide general strike that shut down the industry and set the stage for decades of union power. But by the 1970s, unions were being pushed out of the industry by aggressive anti-union employers and immigration authorities that targeted the largely undocumented immigrant workforce. Media reports document both phases of this history.

Media Reports
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Garment Workers Strike for More Pay.” August 22, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163145025/citation/EA4AA34D3F8D4FC0PQ/11.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Truce Averts Strike Crisis: Garment Workers Here Had Planned Walkout Disregard of Provisions of Code Asserted N.R.A. Board Action Keeps 10,000 on Job.” October 5, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163161460/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/2.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Strike Clouds Hang over City: N.R.A. Enters Controversy in Garment Factories Unionists and Employers Called in Conference Bakeries Expected to Take on More Workers.” October 7, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163206337/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/7.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Peace Near in Strike Row: Garment Workers and Employers Will Confer Today Over Plans Offered Under N. R. A.” October 12, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163143059/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/11.
Los Angeles Times (1923-1995). “GARMENT STRIKERS IN RIOT: Police Patrol Downtown Shopping Area All Day as Disturbances Cause Several Arrests.” October 17, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163117271/abstract/DEF08A404A51424CPQ/2.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Writ Prohibits Strike Attacks: Unionists Restrained From Intimidating Workers Garment Factory Protected by Court Injunction Fire Women Jailed After Mob Mauls Girl.” October 18, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163128458/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/23.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Two to Face Bribe Charge: Morrison and Goldson Held to Superior Court Police Officer Tells Story of Pair’s Negotiations Arrest of Striking Garment Workers Asked.” November 3, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163170852/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/63.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Streets Clear of Strike Rows: Downtown Area Peaceful First Time in Weeks Garment Workers Expected to Start Return Today Arbitration Committee Will Continue Its Inquiry.” November 7, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163102987/citation/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/70.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Clouds Darker in Dress Strike: Garment Workers’ Union Not Satisfied With Terms New Walkout Threatened to Obtain Closed Shop Other N.R.A. Conditions Here Generally Peaceful.” November 9, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163174982/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/75.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Strike Pickets Revive Patrol: Minor Disturbances Occur at Garment Plants Union Ascribes Trouble to Disgruntled Workers Factory Owner Arrested in Asserted Assault.” November 10, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163219669/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/77.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Strike Activity Halt Indicated: Garment Workers Official Reports to N.R.A. Board Dispute in Abeyance Pending Final Arbitration Action Union Leaders Endeavor to Check All Picketing.” November 16, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163203506/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/82.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Strike Cessation Ordered: N. R. A. Mediation Board Directs Garment Workers and Employers Alike to Make Peace.” November 17, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163221426/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/84.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Dress Trade Picks Umpire: Father Cunningham Named as Temporary Arbiter for Garment Workers’ Disputes Under Code.” December 7, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163190757/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/94.
Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. “Pact Halts Strike Tie-Up: Garment Workers’ and Employers’ Agreement Laid Before Regional Labor Board.” December 29, 1933. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/163143269/abstract/895EB8BB03D74C3EPQ/101.
Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005). “Garment Workers Get Trade Union.” August 13, 1970. https://search.proquest.com/hnplasentinel/docview/564949549/abstract/9EE5EC81E6414EE3PQ/13.
Lowe, Marshall. “Black, Brown Workers Join Hands For Battle In Underwear War.” Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005). October 15, 1970. https://search.proquest.com/hnplasentinel/docview/564950956/abstract/9EE5EC81E6414EE3PQ/14.
Nancy, and Bill Boyarsky. “The Raveled Street of Wear.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. February 6, 1972, sec. west. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/156911053/abstract/C3676B86E8EB4BAEPQ/2.
B, T. “Once Across the Border, It’s a New Kind of Game.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. September 17, 1972, sec. West. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157020710/abstract/C3676B86E8EB4BAEPQ/4.
Bernstein, Harry. “450,000 Garment Workers Halt Work to Protest Imports: Incomplete Source.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. November 17, 1972, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157093589/abstract/C3676B86E8EB4BAEPQ/5.
Bernstein, Harry. “Inquiry Into Garment Industry Labor Policies to Be Launched: State to Investigate Alleged Violations on Wages, Hours and Working Conditions Relating to Women and Minors GARMENT.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. July 21, 1973, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157327581/abstract/C3676B86E8EB4BAEPQ/7.
OLMO, FRANK DEL. “Illegal Aliens Target of Union Organizers: Garment Workers Break Labor Ranks, Blame Immigration and Hiring Policies.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. January 30, 1975, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157683507/abstract/2F5382421EAF44F1PQ/1.
Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. “Illegal Aliens: What to Do?” February 6, 1975, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157747969/abstract/4D0B3CDFF4F24F12PQ/1.
OLMO, FRANK DEL. “Tipoff on Raid Denied by Immigration Service.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. February 8, 1975, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157812492/abstract/2F5382421EAF44F1PQ/4.
OLMO, FRANK DEL. “Garment Workers Turn Down Union.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. March 8, 1975. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157803816/citation/21691A0F41C84C84PQ/1.
OLMO, FRANK DEL. “23 Illegal Aliens in Van, Driver Seized.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. March 27, 1975, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157759779/abstract/56433C5FF8064DF5PQ/1.
OLMO, FRANK DEL. “Industrialist’s Son May Be Held in Alien Case: Grand Jury Will Hear Evidence Concerning Driver of Van Carrying 24 Seized by Immigration Agents.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. April 3, 1975, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157850726/abstract/56433C5FF8064DF5PQ/2.
OLMO, FRANK DEL. “Jury Indicts Father, Son in Alien Case.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. April 4, 1975, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157723720/citation/56433C5FF8064DF5PQ/3.
Edwards, David. “International Garment Worker’s Union Tries to Organize Undocumented Workers.” Los Angeles Free Press. April 18, 1975. https://voices.revealdigital.org/?a=d&d=BGJFHJH19750418.1.3&srpos=29&e=-------en-20--21--txt-txIN-%22garment+worker%22--------------1.
Patrick, Jane. “Antonovich Proposes Halt to State Welfare Payments to Illegal Aliens.” Los Angeles Free Press, April 18, 1975.
Rawitch, Robert. “Businessman, Son Admit Concealing 24 Illegal Aliens.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. April 19, 1975, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157676975/abstract/56433C5FF8064DF5PQ/6.
Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. “Pair Sentenced in Aliens Case.” May 7, 1975, sec. PART ONE LATE FINAL. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/157815990/citation/56433C5FF8064DF5PQ/7.
Schlein, Lisa, Janet Dodson, and Lenny Isaacs. “Pacifica Radio: Garment Workers in Los Angeles.” Los Angeles: Pacifica Radio, February 14, 1977. http://archive.org/details/canhpra_000013.
Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. “Strike Planned to Protest Clothing Imports.” April 6, 1977, sec. PART ONE. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158323727/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/29.
Bernstein, Harry. “Unions Protest Loss of Jobs Due to Imports: Workers Rally in L.A., Other Major Cities in Call for Federal Action Workers Protest Rising Tide of Imported Goods.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. April 14, 1977, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158343422/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/31.
Merina, Victor. “L.a. Apparel Industry: Labor, Imports Stitch a Pattern of Problems: ‘It Is Not a Glamorous Industry in the Factory End of It’ ‘Your Major Problem in the Entire Industry Is Labor’ Pattern of Problems ‘We Hire People Who Could Have Difficulty Getting Other Jobs.’” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. February 24, 1978. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158439620/abstract/C3676B86E8EB4BAEPQ/1.
Rawitch, Robert. “Union Sues to Curb INS Raids on Aliens.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. February 25, 1978, sec. Orange County. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158440756/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/51.
Schlein, Lisa. “Los Angeles’ Garment District Sews a Cloak of Shame.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. March 5, 1978, sec. PART V. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158468955/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/52.
Blum, Bill, and GINA LOBACO. “Labor Has Joined Campaign to Eliminate Immigrant Sweeps.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. November 26, 1978, sec. PART VII. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158713965/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/73.
Bernstein, Harry. “INS Illegal Alien Raid Efforts Hit.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. December 13, 1978, sec. Orange County. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158710383/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/76.
Bernstein, Harry. “Pickets Protest Illegal Alien Control Efforts: L. A. Federal Building Demonstrators Include Officials of 2 Unions.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. December 13, 1978, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158691302/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/75.
Bernstein, Harry. “Militants Picket Federal Building in L. A. to Protest Apprehension of Illegal Aliens.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. December 13, 1978, sec. San Diego County. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158775342/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/77.
Townsend, Dorothy. “Garment Workers Union Picketed on Bonus Loss.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. December 22, 1978, sec. PART II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158738066/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/78.
Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. “Garment Union Wins 25% Raise.” May 31, 1979, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/158856278/citation/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/87.
Times, Robert Lindsey Special to The New York. “Unions Move to Organize Illegal Aliens in the West (Published 1979).” The New York Times, June 3, 1979, sec. Archives. https://www.nytimes.com/1979/06/03/archives/unions-move-to-organize-illegal-aliens-in-the-west-illegal-aliens.html.
Maxwell, Evan. “Neighborhood Raids for Illegal Aliens Resumed: RAIDS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. October 10, 1979. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/162657709/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/95.
Scheer, Robert. “LAW PART OF PROBLEM: Illegal Aliens’ Half-Life: Hard Work, Few Benefits Illegal Aliens--a Half-Life of Hard Work and Few Benefits Illegal Alien Labor: How Vital? The Half-Life of Illegal Aliens ILLEGAL ALIENS.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. November 12, 1979, sec. Part 1. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/162592118/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/103.
Bernstein, Harry. “AFL-CIO Rejects Easing Alien Stand: Garment Workers Approve of Policy Despite Union Efforts in Southland.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. February 26, 1980. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/162750396/abstract/3EACEFA66FD84195PQ/111.
Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. “17 Pickets at Plant Arrested.” June 7, 1980, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/162815664/citation/23F841F81AA34934PQ/100.
BECKLUND, LAURIE. “L.A. Labor Leaders Oppose Arms for El Salvador.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. February 18, 1981, sec. Part I. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/152701835/abstract/23F841F81AA34934PQ/112.
Bernstein, Harry. “Unions Won’t Join Sweatshop Project.” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. June 30, 1981, sec. Part II. https://search.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/152800144/abstract/C3676B86E8EB4BAEPQ/5.