2005 Winner of the Morley Gunderson Prize in Industrial Relations

Alex Dagg

Alex Dagg began her career as an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in 1985. As the union grew and changed (through a merger with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1995 to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, then to become UNITE), Alex grew with the union, serving as Education Director of the Ontario District Council of the ILGWU from 1986 to 1990, and elected Vice President of UNITE in 1990. In March 2004 at the Canadian convention, Alex was elected Canadian Director of UNITE. In July 2004 at the founding convention in Chicago, she was elected as an Executive Vice President of a new, merged union: UNITE HERE. Alex is the first Canadian to have this position in the union and first woman in the former UNITE.

Throughout her career, Alex has championed the rights of Canadian workers, including homeworkers and immigrant workers. Beyond bargaining and lobbying on their behalf, she has sought to educate the public in conventional ways, such as an appearance in a video series developed by the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) to support an online university-level course on migration and immigration, and in unconventional ways, such as her appearances as a model and emcee for sweatshop fashion shows. Her public service has also included participation in the Coalition for Fair Wages and Working Conditions for Homeworkers; the New Entry Task Force of the Labour Force Development Strategy; the Ontario Federation of Labour Women’s Committee; the Task Force on Adjustment and Transition; the federal Advisory Group on Working Time and the Distribution of Work; and the federal Advisory Committee on the Changing Workplace.

Alexandra received her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University in 1984 and her MIR degree from the Centre in 1988.