Auto Workers, Others to Create Canada's Largest Union

Proposal would unite the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Two unions representing Canada's auto, energy, forestry, media and telecommunications workers announced Wednesday plans to merge, forming the nation's largest public sector union.

The proposal to unite the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) was outlined in a report.

If accepted by their combined 300,000 members across Canada, it would mark the single largest coming together of two private sector unions in Canadian history.

"This blueprint has the potential of giving working Canadians the strength they deserve to fight for their basic rights," CAW national president Ken Lewenza said in a statement.

"This report is the first step towards reaching out beyond traditional workplaces and increasing the political influence of working people in Canada," added Dave Coles, national president of CEP.

Members will vote on the proposal at a CAW convention in Toronto on August 20-24 and at a CEP convention in Quebec City October 14-17.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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