CBTU Canada Statement-The Passing of Fred Upshaw


The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)–Canada Chapter sends its deepest condolences to the familyFred Upshaw and to all those affected by the passing of Fred Upshaw.

Fred Upshaw was best known as the first African Canadian Trade Unionist to lead a major Canadian Union.  Fred Upshaw shattered the glass ceiling when he was elected National President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) from 1990-1995.

The breaking through of glass ceilings in and of itself is always in our view an occasion to celebrate. Fred's achievements however, extend far beyond the one event. His accomplishments and the opportunities he created for those who came after him continues to resonate throughout the Labour movement to this day.

Fred Upshaw alongside what would later be known as CBTU Canada led the fight for the inclusion of workers of colour by fighting for equity seats on the Executive Board of the (OFL) Ontario Federation of Labour. The success of attaining those seats continues to exist to this day.

As a ripple effect of that victory and with Fred's continuing support. CBTU Canada along with the OFL and other progressive affiliates continued the fight for equity seats at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). With Fred's support a campaign and buttons were developed with the message “One Plus One”. It is that very struggle that gave birth to the two equity seats that exist on the CLC's Executive Board today.

CBTU Canada salutes the legacy of Fred Upshaw as we acknowledge that it is upon his shoulders and the shoulders of those like him that we stand.


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African Refugee Support


Dear CBTU Family and CBTU friends,

Enclosed are the details for the next Shared Closet event in support of the African Refugees in Canada.

The event will take place at the OPSEU Union Hall, located at 31 Wellesley Ave, Toronto, on the dates and times shown on the bulletin. Please join CBTU as we come together to assist those within our community who need our support the most. We are asking CBTU members, their families, and supporters for donations of time, finances, gently used clothing, toiletries, and more.

Please join CBTU and our alli Shared Closet as we actively work to improve living and working conditions within the Black community. 

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In solidarity

CBTU - Canada

Thank you,



The McClean family and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity in funding the CBTU Scholarship Fund. In memory of Sylvia McClean, a true god sent to everyone she met.

CBTU Membership Newsletter - 2024





January 18th, 2024 


Greetings CBTU Members: 


The Executive Board would like to Thank Janice Gairey for her endless work on the CBTU Canada Executive Board as President, Board member, and retired worker, and she was instrumental in advocating for Global African Workers. Janice is a phenomenal Leader who still does so much meaningful work in communities, labour bodies, and of course here at CBTU. Janice has decided to step away from the Executive Board to enjoy her well-deserved retirement. JaniceYour CBTU Family loves and adores you. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.


Taking a page out of Janice's Book with doing the important Community work, "being one among many" The Executive Board sees all that you are doing in your communities across Canada. Thank You. There is so much happening quickly and it's important that we can get information to you. Please ensure you are signed up to the current WhatsApp chat.


Please continue to follow the WhatsApp CBTU Ontario :





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