Evelyn “Evy” Dubrow, a respected and widely known champion of workers’ rights, died June 20 at the age of 95.
Dubrow rose to prominence in Washington political circles as a lobbyist for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union — a position from which she pushed for a higher minimum wage, fair trade laws, family and medical leave policies, and civil rights.
The daughter of Belarusian immigrants, Dubrow joined her first trade union, The Newspaper Guild, while working for the newspaper The Morning Call in her hometown of Patterson, N.J. She soon began working on union issues full time, and in 1956 she was hired by legendary labor leader David Dubinsky to be the ILGWU representative in Washington.
From her first campaign on Capitol Hill — opposing a proposal that would outlaw secondary boycotts — the 4-foot-11 inch Dubrow quickly became known for her spirited and tenacious efforts to protect the rights of low-wage workers. In 1999, President Clinton presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in honor of her lifetime of service.
“Working Americans have lost a great friend and champion, and all of America has lost a tireless advocate for social justice,” Senator Edward Kennedy remarked this week on Dubrow’s passing.
Dubrow, who never married, is survived by several nieces and nephews.