HILLMAN, SIDNEY

HILLMAN, SIDNEY (1887–1946), U.S. labor leader. Hillman was born in the small town of Zagare in Lithuania, son of an Orthodox flour merchant and grandson of a rabbi. He received a traditional ḥeder education, and at the age of 14 was sent to study at a yeshivah in Kovno. There he rebelled against both religion and his father, and became involved in revolutionary socialist politics, spending six months in prison as a result of his participation in the abortive revolution of 1905. Soon after his release Hillman emigrated to England, then to the United States (1907), where, after a short stay in New York, he settled in Chicago. In 1909 he went to work in the Hart, Schaffner & Marx clothing factory and a year later he helped head a strike that spread from the plant to all of the city's 35,000 garment workers. For the next five years Hillman was active as a union organizer and was instrumental in getting the Chicago garment trade to accept the principle of the "union shop." This experience was fundamental in shaping his concept of "industrial constitutionalism," that is, the idea of a structured harmony between labor and management, that was to be his main contribution to the American labor movement. In 1914 Hillman returned to New York as chief clerk of the Cloakmakers Joint Board in the women's garment industry. Soon after, the United Garment Workers split in two and Hillman was elected president of one of the factions, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which in 1915 won recognition as chief bargaining agent of New York City's garment workers. As president of the Amalgamated, Hillman set out to achieve sweeping reforms in the industry, by negotiation where possible, through strikes where not. In 1918 the union won a 44-hour week, and in 1920 it was granted a contract that called for a union shop, guaranteed unemployment insurance, and the right to help set production standards. The union also pioneered by going into banking, by means of which it managed to tide many garment businesses through difficult times with loans and stock purchases. The period of the New Deal saw Hillman rise to positions of national leadership. He was appointed to the National Recovery Administration during President Roosevelt's first term and in 1938 he joined Philip Murray and Walter Reuther in forming the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), becoming head of the executive council of its Textile Workers of America. With the outbreak of World War II Hillman became Roosevelt's chief labor adviser. He was appointed labor member of the National Advisory Committee in 1940 and associate director general of the Office of Production Management in 1941. He also served on the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board and was director of the labor division of the War Production Board. At the same time he remained active in the CIO and helped found its Political Action Committee, which sought to commit the labor movement to increased political militancy. After the war his interest also turned to the international labor movement and he was vice president of the World Federation of Trade Unions at the time of his death. Throughout his career Hillman was sympathetic to the goals of the Jewish labor movement in Palestine. He was chosen one of the "non-Zionist" members of the Jewish Agency Executive in 1929 and as a confidant of President Roosevelt sought to win him over to a more pro-Zionist position. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Soule, Sidney Hillman, Labor Statesman (1939); M. Josephson, Sidney Hillman (1952); C.E. Zaretz, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (1934), passim; M. Epstein, Jewish Labor in U.S.A. 19141952, 2 (1953), 390–5; S. Perlman and P. Taft, Labor Movement (1935), 313–6.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Hillman, Sidney — orig. Simcha Hillman born March 23, 1887, žagarė, Lith. died July 10, 1946, Point Lookout, N.Y., U.S. Lithuanian born U.S. labour leader. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1907, became a garment worker, and was elected president of the Amalgamated… …   Universalium

  • Hillman, Sidney — (1887 1946)    Sidney Hillman was born in Lithuania. He came to the United States in 1907 after being arrested for his labor activities, and he found work in the clothing industry in Chicago, Illinois. In 1915, he became president of the newly… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Hillman, Sidney — (1887–1946)    US labour leader. In his youth, Hillman rejected his orthodox background in Lithuania and became a revolutionary. He was imprisoned by the czar and on his release at the age of twenty, emigrated to the United States. At that time… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Hillman, Sidney — orig. Simcha Hillman (23 mar. 1887, žagare, Lituania–10 jul. 1946, Point Lookout, N.Y., EE.UU.). Dirigente sindical estadounidense nacido en Lituania. Emigró a EE.UU. en 1907, trabajó como obrero textil y fue elegido presidente de la Asociación… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hillman, Sidney — (1887 1904)    American labour leader, of Lithuanian origin. Born in Zagare, Lithuania, he studied at a yeshivah in Kovno. Later he was involved in revolutionary politics and imprisoned. He emigrated to England, and then New York and Chicago. He… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Sidney — Sidney, Algernon Sidney, Philip (Sydney) ► C. del SE de Australia, cap. del estado de Nueva Gales del Sur, abierta al océano Pacífico, primera ciudad del país; 3 538 970 h. Dos grandes puentes unen la c. con la orilla N de la bahía. Puerto… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sidney — /sid nee/, n. 1. Sir Philip, 1554 86, English poet, writer, statesman, and soldier. 2. a city in N Ohio. 17,657. 3. a male or female given name: a family name taken from a French placename, Saint Denis. Also, Sydney (for defs. 1, 3). * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • HILLMAN, BESSIE BAS SHEVA ABRAMOWITZ — (1889–1970), labor activist and executive board member of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). The fourth daughter of 10 children born to Sarah (Rabinowitz) and Emanuel Abramowitz, Hillman spent the first 15 years of her life in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hillman (disambiguation) — Hillman can mean:* The Hillman automobile marque, models of which include: ** Hillman Minx ** Hillman Imp ** Hillman Hunter ** Hillman Avenger * Locations including ** Hillman, Michigan ** Hillman Township, Michigan ** Hillman, Minnesota **… …   Wikipedia

  • Sidney Hillman — Infobox Person name = Sidney Hillman image size = 180px caption = birth date =birth date|1887|3|23|mf=y birth place =Zagare, Lithuania death date =death date and age|1946|7|10|1887|3|23|mf=y death place = Long Island, New York occupation = Labor… …   Wikipedia

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