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Michael Schwartz Library

ASC 101 - Brian Mikelbank: Tower Press

Research Question

Are labor unions and management always at odds?


Research question: Are labor unions and management always at odds?

Tower Press

The Tower Press building as it is now known was once a garment factory, first owned by the H. Black Company and later merging with the Printz-Biederman Company. After the merger in 1922, the president of the H. Black Co., Morris Black, served as head of the Cleveland Garment Manufacturer's Association. As head he was involved in negotiations with labor unions, and his vision for the building itself was that of a safe and more comfortable space than many factories of the time.

The Tower Press Building was part of a large scale strike in 1911, when over four thousand workers belonging to the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union fought for a work week of 50 hours, and the guarantee of Saturday afternoons and Sundays off of work. The strike lasted four months and was not successful, with manufacturers turning to workers not in the union.

Learn more:

Tower Press Development



Site questions

  • Can you think of some ways you or your family have benefited from the work of labor union in the past?
  • Do you agree with the actions of companies like Starbucks and Amazon towards their employees looking to unionize?
  • For what reasons do think a significant amount of the manufacturing industry has left Cleveland in the past half-century? Do you think there would have been any way to prevent this from happening?
  • What kind of jobs are based in the Tower Press building? What other types of businesses and organizations are located in the neighborhood?

Where is it?

What does it look like from the street?