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Bob White to be celebrated this Friday

May 2, 2017

Toronto – This Friday, the Canadian labour movement comes together in Toronto to celebrate the life of a true hero from among its ranks, Bob White.

"Bob was an inspiration to many of us in the labour movement, and beyond," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "This will be an opportunity to recognize and celebrate his contributions to workers in Canada and around the world. It’s a time to remember his legacy.”

Before becoming president of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1992, White was the founding president of the Canadian Auto Workers, one of the founding unions of Unifor along with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.

White’s involvement in the labour movement began as a teenager when, against his father’s advice, he became a shop steward at woodworking factory in Woodstock, Ontario. He rose to be Canadian Director of the United Auto Workers before leading Canadian workers out of the international union to form the CAW in 1984.

The celebration is open to the public and media and is jointly organized with the White family and the Canadian Labour Congress. It falls on the eve of the CLC convention in Toronto, and will include brief remarks from labour leaders and White's family, before a reception at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

• What: Celebration of the life of Bob White
• When: Friday, May 5, 3pm, Reception 4:30 to 6pm
• Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building
• Who: Addresses by Unifor National President Jerry Dias, CLC President Hassan Yussuff, Bob White’s children Shawn White and Robyn White, Former CAW President Buzz Hargrove and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation appearing by video. Barb Byers, Secretary Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress will emcee

"It was Bob’s strong principles and his optimism that brought our movement together. He helped make Canada a better place for all of us,” Dias said. “On Friday, we get a chance to remember him and celebrate all that he did for this country.”

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at or (cell) 647-385-4054.