Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags and Novelty Workers Union, Local 1 Records and Photographs
Language of Materials
Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags and Novelty Workers Union, Local 1 Records and Photographs document the New York City union's activities in the 1970s and contain photographs of events from the 1930s through the 1980s.
Pocketbook Workers Local 1 was organized in 1886 and the national union of which it was part had its antecedents in the upsurge of organization among Jewish needle trade workers in the decade following 1910. A 1916 general strike of leather goods workers resulted in the first signed contract with the New York Leather Goods Manufacturers Association in August 1918. Originally affiliated with the United Hebrew Trades, the local obtained a charter from the AFL as Federal Labor Union no. 17873 in 1926 and in 1937 as the International Ladies' Handbag, Pocketbook and Novelty Workers Union. A workforce of Jewish and Italian artisans working for such manufacturers as Coach Leather, as well as smaller novelty shops, has seen the introduction of Puerto Rican and African-American artisans. Many New York City shops have closed in recent decades. In 1992, Local 1 merged with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342-50.
Photographs are arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by folder title. Records have not been arranged by an archivist and are arranged in the order in which they were received from the donor.
Scope and Content Note
The records of the International Ladies' Handbag, Pocketbook and Novelty Workers Union Local 1 are incomplete. Included in the collection are Executive Board minutes, 1968-1981; membership minutes, 1968-1977; negotiation and arbitration files from the 1970s; assorted newsletters, contracts, anniversary journals, and correspondence, mostly from the presidency of Domenic Di Paola. Photographs date from the 1930s through the 1980s and are mostly ceremonial. Photographs include those of union-sponsored medical procedures and union elections.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags and Novelty Workers' Union, Local 1, was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.
Identification of item, date; Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags and Novelty Workers Records and Photographs; WAG 104; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Domenic di Paola, 1994. The accession numbers associated with this gift are 1994.009 and 1994.012.
The accession numbers NPA 2001.073 and NPA 2001.074 are also associated with this collection.
About this Guide
Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags and Novelty Workers Union, Local 1 Photographs (PHOTOS 172). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Leather Goods, Plastics, Handbags and Novelty Workers Union, Local 1 Records and Photographs. Original folder titles were maintained where possible.