By on August 9, 2013


Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewanza is stepping down as the CAW gets ready to merge with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP). The resulting organization will have more than 300,000 members.

Lewanza has led the CAW for the past five years. He and Dave Coles, CEP president who is also stepping down, endorsed CAW official Jerry Dias to take the reins at the new union, which will be Canada’s largest trade union and take the name Unifor. Unifor will have its founding convention at the end of the month in Toronto where a complete leadership team will be elected.

Dias, a long time CAW activist, has been a shop steward, local president and since 2007 he’s been an assistant to the CAW president. Lewanza, who led the union during the bankruptcies and bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, said that he would become an ambassador for Unifor and work locally in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario, just across the Detroit River from the Motor City. He also would not rule out running for political office.


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4 Comments on “CAW President Lewenza To Retire As Union Merges With Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union To Form Unifor...”

  • avatar

    My Old Union CEP merging with CAW, how things change over the Years, I wish the new Union good luck!

  • avatar

    With union membership declining, mergers are inevitable, not to increase clout, but to prevent smaller specialty unions from disappearing. Some of the merged unions have such disparate parts that they have no industry identity, which might be a problem down the line.

    While working in a cookie factory while in college, I was a member of the Bakery and Confectionery Workers’ Union. It later merged to form the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union. At least CAW and CEP had the good sense to come up with a new name instead of mashing the union names together.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Is that anything like shrim ?

  • avatar


    The unions in NA have no bite. It’s too easy for any large corporation to give them the shaft. You pay dues which keep union labor lawyers fed for years. Then they quit & turncoat and go to work as freelance union-busting consultants for corporate bosses. Where they get paid even fatter.

    The CEP is or was a toothless tiger. They always seem to be quagmired in lengthy lockouts.

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