WINDSOR/ TORONTO, June 14, 2013 /CNW/ - CAW National President Ken
Lewenza has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws this afternoon at
the University of Windsor.
Lewenza was recognized with five other high profile Canadians who are
leaders in their respective fields.
Lewenza used his acceptance speech an opportunity to address the value
of trade unions and his concerns about worsening employment prospects
for young people.
Lewenza credited the CAW and other unions for the strong presence of the
university in Windsor. "We have fought for decent wages and benefits
for our members, the working people of Windsor that have allowed
workers to send their children to university, in a way that just wasn't
possible decades ago," said Lewenza.
"Today there are those who are agitating to get rid of unions
altogether. By eliminating the economic base of unions, challenging
our right to bargain and challenging our right to exist.
Without unions, there is no middle class. And without a healthy middle
class, the future of higher education is threatened."
He said that the issue of youth unemployment worries him greatly. "It
is an enormous waste of the energy, the potential, the talent, and the
training of young people like those graduating today," said Lewenza.
"We cannot throw these hard-working graduates, and thousands more like
them across Canada, onto the mercy of a stagnant labour market."
Lewenza called on policy makers, provincially and federally to finally
start taking the problem of youth unemployment seriously.
About Ken Lewenza:
Ken Lewenza was elected as the National President of the CAW in
September 2008 and has been a member of CAW Local 444 since he started
work at Chrysler Canada in 1972.
Lewenza was elected in 1978 to the position of steward in the chassis
division at Chrysler and was subsequently elected to the positions of
committee person, chairperson and Vice-President before assuming the
role of President of CAW Local 444 in 1994.
Lewenza had been lauded for his efforts to lead the union at a time of
global economic crisis and a fundamental shift in the Canadian economy.
He is noted as a rank-and-file leader who believes the union's success
is based on an engaged and active membership.
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
For the full transcript of CAW President Ken Lewenza's remarks, please visit: http://www.caw.ca/en/12163.htm
For more information, please contact: CAW Communications Angelo DiCaro (cell)
416-606-6311 or Shannon Devine (cell) 416-302-1699.