PORT ELGIN, ON, May 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Auto Workers union, in
partnership with the Otesha Project, has officially launched a new
$25,000 bursary program in honour of late CAW union leader Cliff Pilkey
at the union's national Young Workers conference today.
The bursary will provide financial assistance to young Canadians
participating in the Otesha Project's innovative cycling and performing
tours. Otesha tours travel to different communities in Canada to put on
theatre presentations and facilitate interactive workshops on a range
of social justice topics, including community sustainability and
equality. The tours inspire greater engagement in civic life among the
volunteer tour members, and audience members alike.
"The Otesha Project's ambitions are closely aligned with what Cliff
Pilkey fought for in his decades as a union activist, civic leader and
parliamentarian," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "We're proud to
continue Cliff's life-long work for social equality and solidarity
through this bursary, and celebrate his legacy at the same time."
Clifford George (Cliff) Pilkey is a renowned figure in Canada's labour
movement. As past president of CAW Local 222 in Oshawa, Ontario,
founder of the Workers Health & Safety Centre and past president of the
Ontario Federation of Labour, Cliff tirelessly championed the rights of
workers, including women's rights, social equity and human rights both
inside the union movement and society more broadly.
Cliff lead province-wide campaigns for pay equity and child care in
Ontario. And in 1978, as a Member of Provincial Parliament, Cliff
helped win the passage of Bill 70, Ontario's Occupational Health and
"Cliff's long list of accomplishments exemplifies the term
'Changemaker'," said Kayla Siefried, The Otesha Project's Programs
Coordinator. "Otesha's bicycle tour program cultivates the development
of young 'Changemakers.' It's exciting that Cliff Pilkey's story will
be shared through this bursary, and that Otesha's programs will be more
accessible to youth who may otherwise have difficulties fundraising to
participate in one of Otesha's cycling tours."
The Otesha Project is a national youth-led charitable organization that
has connected with over 163 000 Canadians through creative and
energizing performances, workshops, and keynote presentations, and
trained over 500 sustainability advocates through its cycling tour
Releasing the bursary at the union's Young Workers conference is a
fitting tribute to Cliff, who began his union career as a young worker
on the assembly line at General Motors. The biennial conference brings
together CAW members (under the age of 35) and young local union
leaders from across the country to discuss issues and challenges
impacting young workers. It runs until May 5 at the union's Family
Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario.
More information on how to apply for the Cliff Pilkey Changemaker
Bursary as well as upcoming Otesha Project tours is available at: www.otesha.ca
About: The Otesha Project is a national youth-led charitable
organization that uses experiential learning, theatre and bicycle tours
to engage and empower Canadians of all ages to take action for a more
equitable and sustainable world.
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
Kayla Siefried, Otesha Project Programs Co-Ordinator (613)-237-6065) or Angelo DiCaro, CAW Communications/National Young Workers Liaison (416) 606-6311