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Cornell creates professorship honoring one of labor's foremost leaders

The School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell University has established the Jack Sheinkman Chair of Collective Bargaining in honor of the former president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU). Sheinkman will visit campus Monday, Sept. 30, to meet with faculty and students.

Sheinkman, who earned a bachelor's degree from the ILR School in 1949 and a juris doctorate from the Cornell Law School in 1952, was elected president emeritus of ACTWU last year after having served as secretary-treasurer and co-chief executive officer of the union. The merger last year of ACTWU with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union created a new organization, called the Union of Needle Trades and Industrial Textile Workers (UNITE).

Harry Katz, respected as one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of collective bargaining, will hold the Jack Sheinkman Chair of Collective Bargaining. Katz, an ILR School faculty member since 1985, also is director of the Institute of Collective Bargaining. Katz has been widely quoted in the national press on various issues relating to labor unions. He has conducted in-depth studies of the effects of collective bargaining on the U.S. auto industry and is co-author of the classic text The Transformation of American Industrial Relations (Basic Books, 1986).

While on the Cornell campus Sept. 30, Sheinkman will be honored at a luncheon at the Statler Hotel. At 4 p.m. that day Katz will deliver a public lecture, "The Growing World-Wide Variation in Employment Relations," in the Yale-Princeton Room of the hotel.

"The School of Industrial and Labor Relations is privileged and honored to have the Sheinkman Chair and recognize the lifetime achievements of this important individual," said David B. Lipsky, dean of the ILR School.

Throughout his career, Sheinkman has played a leading role in promoting greater equality and justice in the workplace and defense of workers' rights. He has been an innovator in a number of areas of labor and public policy, including pension fund investment and international trade. In addition to his ACTWU responsibilities, Sheinkman serves as chairman of the Amalgamated Bank of New York and the Amalgamated Life Insurance Co., both of which were founded by the union, in 1923 and 1943, respectively. He is vice chairman of the Council on Competitiveness and the Business Labor Community Coalition of New York City.

Sheinkman was a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1988, when he was elected an emeritus member.

Among those who have helped endow the Sheinkman Chair are various unions and businesses, including Brooks Brothers, Levi Strauss and Xerox, corporations where Sheinkman's leadership helped establish worker participation programs. A dinner to honor Sheinkman, held in New York City in November of 1994, raised more than $400,000 to endow the professorship. Those in attendance included AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland, New York City Deputy Mayor John Dyson and New York City Councilwoman Ruth Messinger.

The creation of the Sheinkman Chair brings to six the number of named professorships in the ILR School. The Jean McKelvey-Alice Grant Professorship is held by Lois Gray; the Francis Perkins Professorship, Francine D. Blau; Martin P. Catherwood Professorship, George Milkovich; Irving M. Ives Professorship, Ronald G. Ehrenberg. The Anne Evans Estabrook Professorship has not been filled.