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Clothing Workers (Hickey-Freeman)

1155 N Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14621, US

Category: Union Workplace

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

Hickey-Freeman, manufacturer of high-quality men's apparel, is the last remnant of what was once a key Rochester industry. The factory was moved from St. Paul Street to this location in 1911. Several years later, Russian immigrant Abraham Chatman came to work here as a coat maker. In 1924, at the age of 27, Chatman was appointed leader of the newly-formed union that represented Hickey-Freeman workers. Considered a radical union agitator, Chatman led the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in Rochester for 56 years, bringing the benefits of unionization to workers in every Rochester clothing factory and many other industries as well. Hickey-Freeman founder Jeremiah Hickey, who never attended high school, was himself the son of a tailor. When Hickey died in 1960, Chatman lauded him as "a man of the highest integrity who firmly believed in the worth and dignity of the individual man. He always held, and deserved, the greatest respect of the union.