Ken Lewenza Marks the CAW 25th Anniversary

August 27, 2010


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Ken Lewenza Marks the CAW 25th Anniversary

Ken Lewenza Marks the CAW 25th Anniversary
dated August 27, 2010

Montreal, Quebec
August 27, 2010
      

Montreal, Quebec
August 27, 2010



Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "It is our 25th anniversary and as the leader of the Canadian Auto Workers union I love my union. I love the membership we are privileged to represent. So today I acknowledge the 100's of thousands of members that have joined the CAW, both present and past. I acknowledge the CAW members who have lost their jobs, in many cases through no fault of their own. I acknowledge the CAW leadership for their courage at the collective bargaining table and their courage for going on and fighting for equal and social justice throughout the country."



 

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "Through our actions, through our collective deeds, because of what we have stood for and what our union has demonstrated, we have helped keep alive a set of values so distinct from the meanness and the greed of the right. Words like solidarity and progress, equality and social justice, respect and dignity, peace, compassion and hope. Values that build our union, that builds communities. One year ago the provincial government and the federal government had no idea of moving forward on enhancing our universal pension plans. And as a result of the work of the Canadian Labour Congress, the work of the affiliates, the work of the activists and the leadership in this particular room government is now focused on improving our pension plans through universality. Private companies are trying to integrate into our health care systems for the purpose of a profit. I could care less, quite frankly whether it is long term care, whether it is hospitals, whether it is physicians, the private sector has no business in our universal healthcare program."



 

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "We are a different union than we were in the early years. Our geography has changed. We have grown across economic sectors and we are more diverse. All of these are changes that we obviously celebrate and should celebrate. We are a stronger union because of them. A better union. A union more able to take on the challenges of the future. But just as we celebrate what has changed. We also celebrate what hasn't changed, our culture of militancy, equality and dignity, the fact that our fundamental values and the goals that drive us have remained rock solid in those 25 years."



 

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "We are losing members and we are losing financial resources, but instead of the downward spiral of falling membership, declining confidence and diminished power we are determined to strengthen our union. Financial resources will be limited in the years ahead so the choice is to do less or find different ways to do our work. For us there isn't the choice. We are not going to do less! For the union's core of strength is not based on money and never has been. It is the time, energy, know how and the commitment of our leadership and activism."



 

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "So what about the next 25 years. I predict that the CAW will continue to be more diverse. We'll have to become more diverse. We have to organize workers in new sectors. And new workers, all kinds of workers, workers of colours, new Canadians, young workers, old workers., The CAW and the labour movement as a whole has to become a voice for every single person who works for a living. Not just the traditional stereotype of a worker, but everyone who uses their brains and their brawn to produce valuable goods and services and who is exploited by their boss in the process. I predict that more and more office workers and technical workers and so called professional workers will realize that they need a union too. We will evolve in how we communicate with people, our members and the public at large, even how we organize people. Like our union organizing campaigns we need to use new tools and new technologies to sign up members and build long term visibility and support in non-union work places where it is hard for us to get access. I also predict that our union will continue to be at the cutting edge of how unions intervene in politics."



 

Ken Lewenza
CAW President

       "Let's begin the next 25 years right here and right now. And let's recommit ourselves, dedicated to the cause of workers, dedicated to the cause of our membership; dedicated to those who have no voice and no power; dedicated to the most vulnerable; dedicated to economic and social justice. Happy 25th Anniversary CAW and thank you for giving me the privilege of being the president of the national union."


CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.


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