TORONTO/OTTAWA, Jan. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - The executive boards of the
Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
unions have unanimously approved a process to explore the possibility
of creating a new Canadian union as soon as mid-2013.
Leaders of the two unions have held preliminary discussions for several
weeks, reviewing the current labour relations climate and the
challenges facing organized labour, and considering whether the
formation of a new Canadian union would help the movement to address
those challenges. Now those discussions have been formally endorsed by
the elected National Executive Boards of both unions. At separate
meetings within the last week, the two boards unanimously approved a
"Process Protocol" document. This document sets out the terms of
reference and a timeline for union representatives to explore issues
related to the formation of a new union.
"Events like the lockout at Caterpillar have made it increasingly
obvious that Canadian workers need a stronger, more active, and more
innovative labour movement to defend them," says Ken Lewenza, CAW
national president. "Our movement cannot afford a 'business-as-usual'
approach in light of the attacks we face from both business and
government. We need to combine our resources, and use them more
effectively, if we are to protect Canadian jobs and push for greater
equality in this incredibly hostile economic environment."
"Our goal is to create a new, Canadian union," says Dave Coles,
president of the CEP. "We are examining every aspect of our work as
trade unions, from organizing to bargaining to political activism. We
are working to create a stronger union movement and a better future for
Under the Process Protocol, a representative committee will work over
coming months to investigate specific issues related to a new union
(including dues and finances, representative structures, and regional
issues). It will issue a report on whether a new union is feasible and
desirable in time for the upcoming conventions of both unions (August
2012 for the CAW, and October 2012 for the CEP).
Both unions pledged a high degree of transparency concerning the work of
the Process Committee, including the establishment of a joint website
devoted to the project.
SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA
For further information:
CEP National President Dave Coles (613) 299-5628
CAW Communications Director Shannon Devine (cell) (416) 302-1699