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Canadian Autoworkers Join New Union

CAW merges into new Unifor.

by on Sep.03, 2013

Unifor Pres. Jerry Dias comes from the communications side of the new union - with no experience in the automotive world.

This story has been updated to reflect the prior automotive experience of new Unifor Pres. Dias.

The Canadian Auto Workers Union is gone, having completed a merger with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada to create a new union that will go by the name Unifor.

As part of the merger, CAW national president Ken Lewenza, a veteran of negotiations with Detroit’s automakers, and CEP president Dave Coles opted to step aside for new leadership team. Unifor’s new president, Jerry Dias, who was installed during a convention in Toronto,was one of Lewenza’s administrative assistant at the CAW, and has participated in negotiations with Detroit’s automakers.

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He’ll have to face off with automakers who have increasingly complained about rising labor costs in Canada – and who have been threatening to transfer work and jobs back to the U.S. or even Mexico.

Dias, however, said during his acceptance speech that organizing will be one of the new union’s top priorities. The old CAW had organizing efforts in place for several months at plants in Ontario operated by Toyota and Honda. The new union boss said he would uphold Unifor’s promise to dedicate 10% of its revenues to organizing workplaces and adding new members.


UAW and CAW Join Forces in Washington

A so-called legislative alliance will put pressure on lawmakers.

by on Sep.30, 2009


The alliance formalizes the cooperation that began a year ago during the Presidential campaign.

The United Auto Workers and Communications Workers of America have joined forces in what the two unions describe as a “legislative alliance.”

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Larry Cohen of the CWA said each union would contribute staff and other resources to this alliance, which will be responsible for representing the interests of 2 million active and retired CWA and UAW members on legislative issues.

“Through this alliance, the two unions will increase the effectiveness of their legislative efforts in advancing the interests of their members and working families generally. In particular, the alliance will actively support passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, comprehensive, health-care reform, and measures to promote retirement security and fair trade,” Gettelfinger and Cohen said in a statement.

No Dues!

No Dues!

For all practical purposes, the alliance formalizes the cooperation that actually began a year ago during the Presidential campaign when both unions rallied behind Barrack Obama, UAW officials said. The cooperation was extended during the fight on Capitol Hill over the auto industry bailout, spawning the discussion about the possibility of closer collaboration.