HALIFAX, Aug. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Two of the largest industrial unions in Canada released a blueprint today for what could be the coming together of the two to form the largest private sector union in the country's history.
Representatives of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) and the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) released a set of recommendations which could bring together the two unions into one new organization - 300,000 members strong, with a significant membership base in the Atlantic provinces.
The implications for the Atlantic region would be far-reaching.
If formed, the new union would have a critical mass of more than 27,000 members in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, in 145 different local unions.
"This new national union would have tremendous organizing potential, which would help extend union representation to workers who currently do not have a voice in their workplace," said CEP Atlantic Region Vice President Chuck Shewfelt, a member of the joint CAW CEP Proposal Committee. The committee was tasked with exploring the possibility of forming a new organization. "The new union will be spending $50 million over five years on organizing new members, which means our current membership could grow significantly," said Shewfelt.
The new union would also represent workers in more than 20 different economic sectors - with the goal building strength in existing sectors and broadening its scope.
"Workers in the Atlantic region will have the opportunity for strong representation at the bargaining table, and also in their communities," said CAW National Representative Rick Rose. "This new union will truly be a union for all workers, not confined by sector, location or employment status."
The final report to form a new union will be presented to members of both unions at their respective conventions, who will vote on the proposal. The CAW convention will be held in Toronto August 20-24 and the CEP convention will be held in Quebec City October 14-17.
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
Chuck Shewfelt, CEP Vice President, Atlantic (cell) 506-380-3638
Rick Rose, CAW National Representative, Atlantic Area (cell) 902-818-2794
To read the full report, please visit: www.newunionproject.ca