President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (1990-1995)
Fred Upshaw was the first Black trade unionist to lead a major Canadian union. His early years as a debater and professional singer helped make him a spellbinding orator, which came in handy when he began his union career. During his term as President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Upshaw secured wage increases for public employees and helped win unit reform and human rights language in OPSEU contracts. He also worked to achieve broad-scale pay equity legislation and employment equity policies, as well as the right to strike for Crown employees.