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Clothing Workers (Michaels-Stern)

87 N Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY 14604, US

Category: Union Workplace

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

The seven-story Michaels-Stern clothing factory was state-of-the-art when it was erected in 1893 with electric lights, steam heat, elevators, and power-driven cutting machines. Progressive in its technological advances, Michaels-Stern had a repressive approach to labor relations. In 1919, all Rochester clothing manufacturers signed a collective bargaining agreement with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America except Michaels-Stern, which resigned from the Clothiers' Exchange to avoid being covered by the contract, calling ACWA president Sidney Hillman a Bolshevik. When the ACWA struck the factory (which employed 3000), the employer invited the more manageable United Garment Workers to organize their shop, got an injunction against picketing, and sued Hillman for $200,000. The suit was eventually set aside, but the injunction was upheld. It wasn’t until 1938, after Michaels-Stern cutters requested admission into the ACWA, that the firm joined the Clothiers Exchange and came under the ACWA agreement.


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