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Sidney Hillman

Hillman, Sidney, 1887–1946, American labor leader, b. Lithuania. He emigrated to the United States in 1907. Beginning as a garment worker, he became a union leader after his key participation in a successful clothing workers' strike (1910) in Chicago. In 1914 he began his long tenure as president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers. He promoted union-management cooperation and started many novel union practices, such as cooperative housing and banking. One of the founders of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), he was its vice president from 1935 to 1940. A moderate, opposed to labor schism, he directed the labor sections of the Office of Production Management from 1940 to 1942. Through the CIO Political Action Committee, which he headed from its start (1943) until his death, he sought labor support for political programs favored by unions. His strong support of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's policies made him influential in the Democratic party. He was also a founder of the American Labor party and its chairman (1944–45). As CIO delegate at world labor parleys, he helped create (1945) the World Federation of Trade Unions.

See biography by M. Josephson (1952).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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