Dubinsky, David

born Feb. 22, 1892, Brest-Litovsk, Russian Empire
died Sept. 17, 1982, New York, N.Y., U.S.

U.S. labour leader.

The son of a baker in Russian Poland, he was sent to Siberia in 1908 for his union activities. In 1911 he escaped and immigrated to the U.S., where he renewed his union work. In 1932 he became president of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), a post he held until 1966. As president, he transformed the ILGWU from a small, fractious regional organization into a model international union. He also played a significant role in the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (see AFL-CIO) in 1955.

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▪ American labour leader
born Feb. 22, 1892, Brest-Litovsk, Russian Empire [now Brest, Belarus]
died Sept. 17, 1982, New York, N.Y., U.S.

      American labour leader who served as president of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union)) from 1932 to 1966.

      The son of a baker in Russian Poland, Dubinsky was sent to Siberia in 1908 for his union activities. He escaped and emigrated to the United States in 1911. While working as a garment cutter in New York City, he renewed his union activities and became manager-secretary of Local 10 of the ILGWU in 1921, a post that he left in 1929 to assume the position of secretary treasurer of the entire ILGWU. He was elected president of the union in 1932.

      Dubinsky transformed the ILGWU from a faction-ridden, insolvent regional union with 45,000 members into a model international union representing 450,000 workers. Under Dubinsky, the ILGWU pioneered initiatives in housing, pension plans, and health centres. An independent in both national union affairs and in politics, Dubinsky maintained his allegiance to the American Federation of Labor (AFL) but also supported the emergence of the CIO unions in the 1930s. He played a significant role in the merger of the AFL and CIO in 1955. His autobiography, David Dubinsky: A Life with Labor, was published in 1977.

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Universalium. 2010.

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