Signing of Union Agreement at 4th Street Dress Shop
By Paul R. Collier, August 1933.
In June 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) which established the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The NRA created codes of conduct for a variety of industries, including garment workers. These new codes regulated wages, hours, and the right to form worker unions (among other things). This had a tremendous effect across the country as great numbers of textile workers organized and went on strike, and practically shut down the industry.
In Plainfield, employees of local dress manufacturers and members of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, went on strike in August 1933 to recieve the minimum required salary and regulated work hours as specified in the new NRA codes. As reported in The Courier News on August 17, 1933:
As the strike enters its second day, four shops in Plainfield are practically shut down. The first walkout occurred yesterday at 9 a. m. at the Raymond Dress Shop, 327 West Front Street, when 120 employees told their manager, Benjamin Fels, they were formally on strike.
They went to the Star concern at 501 Richmond Street. and after15 minutes of cajoling, induced the plant's force of 150 to join them. Later in the day, the entire staff of 35 women employed by the Rose Sports Wear Manufacturing Company, 114 East Fourth Street walked out, and 150 workers from the Acme Dress Company, 216 West Second Street, enlisted with the strikers.
An agreement was reached ten days later on 28th and employees went back to work on the August, 29, 1933..
This photo records the signing of the new Union agreemnt between local manager Louis Greenberg and the workers at the Rose Sports Wear shop.
Photo ID: C21296 - Part of the Paul R. Collier Photograph Collection