MONTREAL, May 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Hassan Yussuff has been elected president of the 3.3-million-member Canadian Labour Congress, the first worker of colour to hold the position.
"I'm truly honoured to be the next CLC president," Yussuff told the CLC convention where he was elected May 8. "You have voted for change, you have voted for a strong labour movement."
Unifor National President Jerry Dias congratulated Yussuff on his election.
"Members of the CLC have voted for change. Working with all of the affiliates of the CLC, that is what Yussuff will deliver," Dias said. "I would like to congratulate all the candidates in this election. They have contributed to an important debate on renewal, and that can only be good for the labour movement."
In a show of solidarity, outgoing CLC president Ken Georgetti immediately put forward a motion to declare Yussuff's election unanimous.
"I would like to thank Ken Georgetti for his years of dedicated service to the labour movement," Yussuff said.
A third candidate, Hassan Husseini withdrew from the election during a candidates' debate on May 7, throwing his support behind Yussuff.
Yussuff campaigned on a platform to reinvigorate the labour movement in Canada, pledging to reach out to workers of colour and to lead a more inclusive CLC that pushes back against the anti-labour and austerity agendas of Conservative governments across Canada.
"The job head of us is bigger than any one person," Yussuff said.
Yussuff began his involvement in the labour movement while working as a truck mechanic and member of the Canadian Auto Workers, later becoming the CAW's first Director of Human Rights. In 1999, he was the first person of colour to be elected to the CLC executive. Three years later, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the CLC, a position he held until being elected president.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information:
please contact Unifor Communications Director Sarah Blackstock at Sarah.Blackstock@Unifor.org or (cell) 416-949-1072, or Unifor Communications Staff Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.