VANCOUVER, 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 in order 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 western provinces.
The implications for western Canada are far reaching.
If formed, the new union would have a critical mass of nearly 28,000 members in British Columbia alone, and another 40,000 members in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba - in a total of 180 local unions.
"This new national union would have extraordinary organizing potential which will benefit workers who currently don't have access to a union," said CEP Western Region Vice President Jim Britton, 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 doubling the current organizing budget of both unions combined, spending $50 million over five years on organizing new members," said Britton.
The new union would also represent workers in more than 20 different economic sectors.
"This new union will be created with the intention of better serving our existing members as a stronger counter balance to aggressive employers and governments," said CAW Alberta and B.C. Area Director Susan Spratt, also a member of the Proposal Committee. "The new union would be able to build greater capacity in the western region of the country to become a progressive force in our communities and in politics."
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:
Jim Britton, CEP Vice President, Western (604) 992-6625
Susan Spratt, CAW Alberta and B.C. Area Director (cell) 604-657-4303
To read the full report, please visit: www.newunionproject.ca