CAW Local 444
The Canadian Auto Workers, Local 444 (CAW Local 444) was an amalgamated local union affiliated to the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) national union. Originally founded in 1942 as the Chrysler Division of UAW Local 195, Local 444 became a stand-alone union (then affiliated with the U.S.-based United Auto Workers) in 1956. In 2013, the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged to form a new union call Unifor. CAW Local 444 became Unifor Local 444.
Based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, CAW Local 444 represented around 4600 Chrysler Canada employees who work at the company's Windsor assembly plant, as well as a number of other Windsor-area employers including Caesars Windsor casino, Dakkota Integrated Systems, HBPO Canada, Integram Seating (Magna International), Johnson Controls, Oakley Sub Assembly Windsor, Presteve and Etna Foods, TransAlta Energy and TRW Automotive.
The last president of Local 444 was Dino Chiodo, before him Rick Laporte. Laporte replaced Ken Lewenza, Sr., after the latter was elected to become the CAW's National President in September, 2008. Buzz Hargrove, Lewenza's immediate predecessor as national president, was also previously a member of Local 444. Ken Lewenza, Jr., another Local 444 member and the son of former local president, now national president, Lewenza Sr., was a member of Windsor City Council until losing his seat on October 25, 2010. His loss was seen to be part of a rejection by voters of union dominance in local politics.
The first President of Local 444, Charles Brooks, lead the Local 444 from 1956 until his death by assassination in 1977 Chrysler Motors employee.
- Local 444, CAW website
- Rebecca Turcotte, "Laporte succeeds Lewenza to lead CAW Local 444", Windsor Star, August 11, 2008.
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