CAW, CEP contemplating merger

Mega union would represent about 325,000 workers, but talks in very early stages

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union are contemplating a merger that would form a super union representing about 325,000 workers, according to an article in the Toronto Star.

CAW president Ken Lewenza told the Star there is still a lot of work to be done, but discussions are underway.

“We’re trying to figure out how the labour movement is going to look in five years and how do we strengthen the commitment to members,” he said.

One of the key issues in the merger would be the blending of the union’s cultures, according to CEP president Dave Coles, who told the Star CEP is more decentralized with strong local autonomy while the CAW is more centralized.

“We just have to find a new model for both of us and it can be done,” he said. “After all, we have a common enemy. That’s one of the drivers in this whole process.”

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