Robyn Benson, PSAC

One Big Union


I would be remiss if I didn’t say something on this blog to congratulate CAW and CEP on their recent merger. 300,000 members is a lot of muscle. Private sector workers can sure use the strength.

I see the naysayers are already at it. Since the new union hasn’t actually done anything yet—the merger won’t actually be in effect until Labour Day—its name, UNIFOR, is being criticized for lacking “emotional magic.” Forgive me, but like “Canadian Autoworkers?” “Communications, Energy and Paperworkers?” Er, “Public Service Alliance of Canada?” No offence to anyone, but… :)

What’s in a name? It’s what the new union does that will count, and its actions will inject that emotional magic into UNIFOR. The unionization rate in the private sector is presently 18%, more or less, so there’s really nowhere to go but up.

Like PSAC, UNIFOR represents a wide variety of workers and workplaces, and the challenges will be many—but the leadership of both unions is well aware of that.

It’s not that they’re starting from scratch, after all. The founding unions have quality leadership and a lot of accumulated knowledge and experience, all of which will guide the new union through the transition and into the future.

In the meantime, I wish UNIFOR all the best, and I look forward to working with the new union at the Canadian Labour Congress and elsewhere. Solidarity forever!

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This page contains a single entry by Robyn Benson, PSAC published on June 4, 2013 12:00 PM.

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