Chinese Guilds in the Apparel Industry of San Francisco by ProQuest


Park Hong Ng indicated that he had heard from older guild members that an earlier guild may have already emerged in the 1870s that was replaced by Gam Yee Hong.4 According to Bing Lai, after labor disputes had led to some bloody incidents, efforts of Consul General Huang Gongdu led to the formation of Gam Yee Hong.5 It soon became an influential institution in Chinatown, and in 1888 Gam Yee Hong, together with Tongye Tang (Tailors' Guild, Tung Yip Tong), Tongde Tang (Cigarmakers' Guild; Tung Duck Tong, Tung Tak Tong), Dongqing Tang (Laundrymen's Guild; Doong Hing Tong, Tung Hing Tong) and Lsheng Tang (Shoemakers' Guild; Lei Shing Tong) were considered the major labor organizations that, together with the "operatic, lottery and fantan" professions, were responsible for passing donation books to their memberships to contribute funds for building a Chinese hospital.6 When Gam Yee Hong was at the height of its power, it did not hesitate to protected workers' interests with vigor. [...] in spite of the guild's success in protecting workers' interests for several decades, in the end it failed when replacements in their ranks were limited severely by the strict exclusion laws, and when women workers began to increase and their traditional attitudes against accepting women as equals prevented them from welcoming female workers into their ranks.

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									                    Chinese Guilds in the Apparel Industry
                              of San Francisco
                                                           Him Mark Lai

The following descriptions of guild organizations and operations in        ers to win better working conditions perhaps explains why it
the San Francisco apparel industry was based primarily on (1) the          had been the target of several major organizing efforts during
author’s interviews with 75-year-old Bing Lai durin
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