Zimmerman, Charles Sascha

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ZIMMERMAN, CHARLES SASCHA (1897–1983), U.S. labor leader. Zimmerman, who was born in the Ukraine, came to the United States in 1913 and went to work in a New York City knee-pants shop. In 1916 he joined the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ilgwu) and thereafter the Socialist Party. With the emergence of the American Communist movement after World War i he became a member of the Communist Party, whose faction in the ilgwu he led throughout the early 1920s. In 1926, a year after becoming union manager of the Communist-controlled New York Joint Board, Local 22, ilgwu, Zimmerman organized a general strike. Though he considered the management's eventual settlement offer to represent a substantial victory for the workers, the Communist Party forced a continuation of the walkout, which ended in defeat. The experience had a sobering effect. Zimmerman, although he remained in the Party for a few more years as leader of its Needle Trades Industrial Union, resigned in 1929 and in 1931 he led Local 22 back into the ilgwu. After his return to the ilgwu Zimmerman played an active role in the struggle against Communist influence in the labor movement. He was made vice president of the ilgwu in 1943, a post he long held. He was also active in the American Labor Party in New York State, until his resignation in 1946, after it veered to the left. After World War ii, through his activities in the Jewish Labor Committee, Zimmerman was active in the cause of civil rights. In 1949 he became a leader of Amum-Israeli Housing Corporation, an enterprise in low-cost housing in Israel undertaken by the ilgwu and several other American unions.


M. Epstein, Jewish Labor in U.S.A., 2 vols. (1950–53), index; idem, The Jew and Communism, 19191941 (1959), index.

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Zimmerman, Charles Sascha

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