The Sidney Hillman Foundation is a left-of-center organization that annually awards monetary prizes for journalism and public service. The foundation was founded in 1946 in honor of Sidney Hillman, president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America labor union, a predecessor of Unite Here and Workers United, SEIU. Workers United president emeritus Bruce Raynor leads the Foundation.
The current president of the foundation, longtime controversial labor union leader Bruce Raynor, has faced criticism from union activists for his actions surrounding the creation and the later dissolution of the merger into Unite Here of his own garment workers’ union with the hotel and casino workers’ union.  Raynor merged his faction of the dissolved merger into the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) labor union as Workers United; the majority of the Hillman Foundation board of directors are currently employed by Workers United, SEIU. 
Past Hillman honorees include left-of-center activists Jesse Jackson and Harry Belafonte, who each received an Officers Award. The Hillman Foundation has also awarded a variety of prizes to representatives from left-leaning activist groups like the ACLU of Michigan; left-leaning media outlets including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN; and left-leaning commentators like Melissa Harris-Perry, Bill Moyers, and Andrew Sullivan. The Hillman Foundation awards prizes for writings advocating left-of-center viewpoints on organized labor, social policy, tax hikes, gun control, and immigration expansionism. 
Sidney Hillman was president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACW) labor union and director of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) Political Action Committee. ACW was a predecessor union of Workers United, SEIU and Unite Here and a founding member of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), a left-wing rival union federation to the American Federation of Labor (from which the CIO split and with which it later merged, forming the AFL-CIO). 
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACW) drew its senior staff from New York’s Jewish political left, which included socialists like Hillman, among other far-left factions. 
In 1940, Hillman aided the re-election campaign of staunchly pro-private-sector union President Franklin Roosevelt, campaigning for FDR among New York’s Jewish population. As a result, Hillman become one of Roosevelt’s chief advisors and influencers.  Hillman would serve as co-director of the federal Office of Production Management during World War II. 
Sidney Hillman died in 1946. The leadership of the ACW and other garment workers’ unions created a foundation in his honor. Early on the foundation donated to medical educational causes and in 1950 launched the Hillman Prize program which carries on to this day.  The foundation has been constantly supported by the same union for decades as their main benefactor has evolved from ACW to Unite Here to present day Workers United, an affiliate of SEIU. 
The Sidney Hillman Foundation’s largest reported donor is KPS Capital Partners, which donated $250,000 in 2016 and similar amounts in prior years.  KPS has also sponsored the reception for the Hillman Prizes ceremony. 
Other significant donors include the law firm Grant and Eisenhofer, a law firm self-described as “one of the most successful plaintiff advocacy firms across the globe” that has also done some work for the SEIU.  In 2013, the firm donated $500,000 to the Hillman Foundation. 
The Hillman Foundation awards prizes to journalists in both the United States and Canada. The Sidney Awards are awarded monthly for journalism that supports the labor union social justice agenda. The George Barrett Award is given to attorneys working on civil rights and union causes. The Hillman Foundation also presents the Sol Stetin award to recipients who have made significant contributions to the labor movement. 
In 2006, two Yale authors were announced as winners of a Hillman Foundation book prize. Before the award presentation, they were informed that the award had been rescinded due to charges that they had engaged in unfair labor practices in the 1990s. The GESO, the Graduate Employees and Students Organization, claimed to have received opposition and threats from one of the authors, Professor Ian Shapiro; although the charges were never proven, the claim of anti-union bias was sufficient to eliminate Shapiro and his fellow author from the awards. 
Bruce Raynor, is the president of the Hillman foundation and on two occasions found himself in the midst of union controversy that affected the structure of the unions and his own standing within the labor community.
The first situation was the manner in which he led and split the union Unite Here (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees). Raynor believed that the hotel union leaders within the union were taking too much control and were not organizing sufficiently.  Raynor decided to divide the union, which resulted in Unite Here representing only hotel and restaurant workers and the new union, Workers United, representing the textile, apparel, distribution and food service industries.  The separation was not amenable to all parties and Raynor was accused by the Unite Here administration of being a dictatorial leader, illegally transferring funds and poaching members. 
The second occurrence was in 2011 when Raynor resigned from executive leadership of Workers United and SEIU after allegations of financial impropriety. Raynor’s resignation from union management has not affected his position as the head of the Sidney Hillman Foundation.