Founding President Bob White Celebrates 25th Anniversary, CAW/TCA Joint Council
August 27, 2010
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Founding President Bob White Celebrates 25th. Anniversary, CAW/TCA Joint Council
dated August 27, 2010
| Bob White|
Founding CAW President
"We said we wanted to have a Canadian union and we wanted to have an executive board which would reflect the rank and file leadership. There were lots of challenges as we were going through this because there was a lot of interference coming from the Americans. It was a difficult decision to make, to say, all of a sudden we were going to move from what was a union led by Walter Reuther, now to something fundamentally different. I used to go to Detroit to the board meetings, the board meeting were all one person from each of the regions, there were no people who got into that room other than that, and I wanted a different structure for our leadership. I wanted to have a president, a secretary treasurer and a Quebec director, we talked this out, not just me but Buzz Nick and I. We didn't want the UAW structure with the executive board the way it was, we wanted to have rank and file members on our board as well. And that is what it turned out to be, to give an opportunity to people who were active in the union on a regular basis who do all these things on a regular basis, most of them not getting paid for it. But around that room are people who are working every day at the work place, they know about the labour movement, they are not afraid to make an argument with the president or somebody else and it is a hell of a lot of differenct than if you go to some big organization where all they want you to do is rubber stamp what the President said. So we changed the structure significantly and the majority of the people ultimately on the board were from rank and file local unions. And today that is still fundementally important to make sure that you have voices coming from the workplace from people who spend all of their time trying to do the best that they can in local unions.