Herman Stewart, hired as an organizer with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in 1980, shook up a sleepy union when he was chosen Ontario business manager in a contested election in 1986.  

The union had had a cozy relationship with employers, so the industry was shocked when Stewart led a successful four-day strike later that year.  Stewart, originally from Jamaica and who had earlier helped organize his workplace with the Steelworkers, became the first person of colour to lead a union in Ontario and the first OFL vice-president of colour.

Interviewed by Andy King and Lorne Slotnick

Oral History ProjectHerman Stewart
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