Angela Bambace, first woman elected Vice President of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU)

Mar 06, 2021 644

Angela Bambace, first woman elected Vice President of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) - previously an all-male leadership Executive Board for #WomensHistoryMonth. Angela Bambace defied social expectations to lead a labor union—organizing women’s marches, strikes, and protests to improve working conditions, rights and pay in order “to build a better world, a better place for everybody.”

Angela Bambace (1898-1975) was born in Santos, #Brazil, to Giuseppina Calabrese and Antonio Bambace, immigrants from Leonforte, #Sicily and Cannitello, #Calabria. The family immigrated to New York City in 1901 and settled in #EastHarlem. As a teenager, Angela and her sister Marie followed their mother into garment work, like most Italian immigrant women in New York City.

Bambace first became a member of the Italian Waist and Dressmakers' Local 89 in 1917 and served as a key organizer in the dressmakers' strike of 1919. She also joined the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in their neighborhood and became a union member, organizer, staff member, and officer of the #ILGWU.

In the early 1930s, the ILGWU sent Bambace to organize garment workers in #Baltimore. This temporary position became permanent in 1936 and by 1942, she was appointed the manager of the newly created Maryland-Virginia district of the ILGWU. In 1956, she became the first woman elected #VicePresident of the ILGWU and a member of the General Executive Board.

Bambace retired from the ILGWU in 1972 and died from cancer in Baltimore in 1975.

SOURCE: NIAF

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