Dubinsky, David(do͞obĭn`skē), 1892–1982, American labor leader, president (1932–66) of the International Ladies Garment Workers UnionInternational Ladies Garment Workers Union
(ILGWU), former U.S. labor union, formed in 1900 by the amalgamation of seven local unions. At the turn of the century most of the workers in the garment industry were Jewish immigrants, whose attempts at organization were hampered by
..... Click the link for more information. (ILGWU), b. Brest-Litovsk, Poland. He was a baker in his father's shop in Lodz (then in Russian Poland), and after becoming active in the bakers' union, he was banished (1908) to a Siberian prison. He escaped and reached (1911) the United States, where he became a cloak cutter and joined the ILGWU. He rose rapidly through the ranks of the union and served as president from 1932 until his retirement in 1966. After 1932 he led in the expansion of membership of the ILGWU.
Although a vice president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), he led (1935–36) his union to join the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO; see American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial OrganizationsAmerican Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
(AFL-CIO), a federation of autonomous labor unions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. ). When the AFL suspended the CIO unions (1936), Dubinsky resigned from the AFL. He opposed, however, the establishment of the CIO on a permanent independent basis, and in 1938 he also broke with it, thus making the ILGWU independent until 1940 when it reaffiliated with the AFL. In 1936 he was one of the founders of the American Labor partyAmerican Labor party,
organized in New York by labor leaders and liberals in 1936, primarily to support Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and the men favoring it in national and local elections.
..... Click the link for more information. in New York State. When it fell under Communist influence, he resigned and helped organize (1944) the Liberal partyLiberal party,
in U.S. history, political party formed in 1944 in New York City by a group of anti-Communist trade unionists and liberals who withdrew from the American Labor party when that party became pro-Communist.
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1945 he again became a vice president and member of the executive council of the AFL, retaining the position after it merged with the CIO in 1955. His efforts at ousting corrupt union leaders culminated in the antiracket codes adopted by the AFL-CIO in 1957.
See biography by R. D. Parmet (2005, repr. 2012); M. D. Danish, The World of David Dubinsky (1957); .