Dennis McDermott

Canadian Labour Congress United Auto Workers Wayback Machine
Dennis McDermott

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland
In office
Governor GeneralJeanne Sauvé
Prime MinisterBrian Mulroney
Preceded byGustav Gad Rezek
Succeeded byMike Wadsworth
4th President of the Canadian Labour Congress
In office
Preceded byJoe Morris
Succeeded byShirley Carr
3rd Canadian Director of the United Auto Workers
In office
PresidentWalter Reuther
Leonard Woodcock
Douglas Fraser
Preceded byGeorge Burt
Succeeded byBob White
Personal details
Born(1922-11-03)November 3, 1922
Portsmouth, England
DiedFebruary 13, 2003(2003-02-13) (aged 80)
Peterborough, Ontario
Political partyNew Democratic Party
OccupationWelder, assembler, trade unionist

Dennis McDermott, OOnt (November 3, 1922 – February 13, 2003) was a Canadian trade unionist, Canadian Director of the United Auto Workers from 1968 to 1978 and president of the Canadian Labour Congress from 1978 to 1986.

Born in Portsmouth, England, McDermott immigrated to Canada in 1948 and settled in Toronto where he worked as an assembler and welder at the Massey-Harris plant.[1] He became a full-time organizer for the United Auto Workers in Canada (UAW) in 1954.[2] He was elected Canadian Director of the UAW in 1968 and became an international vice-president of the union in 1970.

As leader of the Canadian UAW he also became a vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress. He left the UAW in 1978 to become president of the CLC.

McDermott was a social activist and civil liberties advocate and joined the Joint Labour Committee to Combat Racial Intolerance soon after arriving in Canada working with the committee to lobby for the enactment of Ontario's first Human Rights Code. He would later serve on the executive of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.[1] He led the Canadian UAW to support the California grape boycott in the 1960s and 1970s.[3]

As UAW Canadian Director, McDermott led a campaign against wage controls being implemented by the government of Pierre Trudeau in 1975. Under McDermott, the CLC organized a 100,000 person protest against the federal Liberal government's economic policies in 1981.[3]

Following his term as CLC president, McDermott was appointed Canada's ambassador to Ireland in 1986 and served in that position until 1989.

McDermott was strong supporter of the New Democratic Party and organized the CLC to operate a political action program in support of the NDP in the 1979 federal election.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Memorial Service for Dennis McDermott Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine", Canadian Labour Congress, March 5, 2003 (accessed 3 November 2006).
  2. ^ "McDermott, Dennis Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine", The Canadian Encyclopedia (accessed 3 November 2006).
  3. ^ a b "Former CLC president Dennis McDermott dies at 80 Archived 2006-09-25 at the Wayback Machine", National Union of Public and General Employees, 14 February 2003 (accessed 3 November 2006).