International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU)
Former industrial union in the U.S. and Canada that represented workers in the women's clothing industry. When it was formed in 1900, most of its members were Jewish immigrants working in sweatshops. Successful ILGWU strikes in New York in 1909–10 secured higher wages and shorter hours. Under the leadership of David Dubinsky (president 1932–66), the union grew from 45,000 members to almost half a million. Active in the effort to organize mass-production industries, it was expelled from the AFL in 1937 but returned in 1940. From the 1970s, membership shrank as U.S. firms moved garment production overseas, and in 1995 the ILGWU merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers' Union to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees. See also AFL-CIO.
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