A New Kind of Union

Unifor and the birth of the modern Canadian union

by Fred Wilson

Longtime trade unionist Fred Wilson's behind the scenes account of the merger between the CEP and CAW to form Unifor — Canada's largest private sector union.

In fall 2011, the leaders of two of Canada's largest unions made a bold decision that would change the Canadian labour movement. Unions faced hostile governments, union busting corporations and declining membership. Something drastic needed to be done.

This book describes the unique process by which the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) decided not just to merge but to create a new union that would be more democratic, more inclusive and more powerful. And how, two years later, a new union with a new name was founded.

Unifor has been a source of optimism and inspiration that unions can adapt to changing times and be a relevant voice for workers in twenty-first Century workplaces, and in politics. But to do that, Unifor had to be a new kind of union that would act differently. Here is the inside story.

About the Author

Fred Wilson
FRED WILSON played a key organizing and planning role in the New Union Project, which culminated in the creation of Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union. He was the Director of Strategic Planning for Unifor during its first three years. Fred lives in Ottawa.


Wilson clearly and logically lays out the towering obstacles Unifor faced, and the manner in which they were overcome ... A New Kind of Union will be of considerable interest to labour historians, institutional theorists, and, of course, leaders, staff, and rank‐and‐file activists.
John Baglow, Literary Review of Canada

Subjects (BISAC)


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