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Our History

UNITE and HERE always organized and represented some of the most harassed workers in North America-recent immigrants, African Americans, women and workers in the South. (Read more about the predecessor unions' histories: UNITE | HERE. )

UNITE HERE Historical Timeline
1891 Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union forms
1900 Workers making women's clothes form the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
1906 The San Francisco earthquake nearly wipes out the hospitality industry for months
1909 A winning strike of 20,000 garment workers, mostly teenage girls, in New York City truly launches the ILGWU
1911 A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City kills 146 workers, leading to the first workplace health and safety laws
1914 Men's clothing workers form the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA)
1923 The ACWA opens the Amalgamated Bank for workers and unions
1939 New York City Hotel Trades Council forms and signs first contract with the Hotel Association.
1939 Southern textile workers found the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA)
1941 ACWA begins employer-paid health and life insurance
1947 Strike at the Brass Rail ends victoriously after six years
1958 100,000 striking ILGWU members in eight states win the required use of the union label
1963 The TWUA begins organizing at textile giant JP Stevens
1960s New York's HERE locals march to support the lunch counter sit-ins to end segregation in the South
1976 ACWA and TWUA merge and create the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union (ACTWU)
1980 After 17 years, 4,000 workers at JP Stevens win a contract
1984 HERE organizes Yale University's support staff
1995 UNITE is formed out of the ILGWU and ACTWU
1998 Strikers at the Las Vegas Frontier Hotel & Casino win after nearly 7 years. UNITE begins major organizing campaigns in laundries, coming to represent 40,000 within 5 years
1999 5,000 workers at Fieldcrest Cannon textile mills join UNITE after 25-year struggle
2001 The attack on the World Trade Center kills 43 HERE members; the resulting economic downturn costs thousands of HERE and UNITE members their jobs

Workers at the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco negotiate 1st contract after a 22-year fight

UNITE forms partnerships with the NAACP and the Sierra Club to further civil and workers' rights & bring the environmental and labor movements together

2003 HERE & UNITE work together on the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, the Yale strike and H&M organizing campaign

To read more about our predecessor unions, click:


Copyright © 2006 UNITE HERE, CLC