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Founded2013; 9 years ago (2013)
Headquarters205 Placer Court, Toronto, Ontario
Key people
Lana Payne (President)
AffiliationsIndustriALL, ITF, IFJ

Unifor is a general trade union in Canada and the largest private sector union in Canada. It was founded in 2013 as a merger of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, and consists of 310,000 workers and associate members in industries ranging from manufacturing and media to aviation, forestry and fishing.[1] In January 2018, the union left the Canadian Labour Congress, Canada's national trade union centre, to become independent.[2]

The union elected Jerry Dias, a former union leader at de Havilland's facility in Downsview, as its first president on August 31, 2013.[3] He announced his retirement on March 12, 2022 due to health reasons.[4]

Split from Canadian Labour Congress[edit]

On January 16, 2018, the National Executive Board of Unifor decided unanimously to discontinue affiliation with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and become independent. In a notice posted on their website, they stated their reasons for the split were due to CLC and its affiliates lack of action and will in addressing alleged aggressive and undemocratic tactics of US-based unions towards Canadian locals.[5] The CLC accused Unifor of leaving the congress in order to engage in "raiding" (soliciting members of another union) following an announcement that UNITE HERE Local 75 in Toronto would leave UNITE HERE and join Unifor.[6] CAW, one of Unifor's predecessors, had previously been expelled from the CLC in 1998 due to accusations of raiding.

Local 1285[edit]

Unifor Local 1285
FoundedMay 12, 1961
Headquarters23 Regan Road, Brampton, Ontario, Canada, L7A-1B2, 905.451.8310
  • Canada
7242 (Sept. 2008)
Parent organization
Formerly called
Canadian Auto Workers Local 1285

Unifor Local 1285 (previously Canadian Auto Workers Local 1285) is a merged local that represents automotive workers in Brampton, Canada. It is the biggest private sector union local in Brampton. [7]

Unifor appeared on the Canadian broadcast of Super Bowl LIII in February 2019 to air an advertisement opposing General Motors' decision to shut the Oshawa Car Assembly factory. Unifor received a letter from General Motors (GM) Canada two days before the game demanding that the commercial and an online advertisement boycotting Mexican-manufactured GM vehicles be discontinued, claiming they were designed intentionally and maliciously to mislead Canadian consumers and permanently tarnish GM's reputation with them. Despite these requests, the campaign ran as planned, with Unifor intended to continue airing it at subsequent significant events.[8][9]

Saskatchewan Crown Corporations[edit]

Most of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Crown Corporations employ Unifor members.

On September 30, 2019, approximately 5,000 Unifor members from all of the above locals began a work-to-rule campaign after failing to negotiate new contracts with the provincial government. By October 4, the job action had escalated into a strike, as all of those workers walked off the job and began picketing, with the exception of those workers working essential roles such as 911 operators, power outage dispatchers, and natural gas leak responders.[14][15]


  1. ^ "'Unifor' will be name of new super union that combines CAW and CEP". Toronto Star. May 30, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  2. ^ "Unifor breaks with Canadian Labour Congress". CBC. Canadian Press. January 17, 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ He politically supports the liberal party of Canada and is a vocal proponent of Justin Trudeau and a staunch critic of opposition leader Andrew sheer "New super-union Unifor’s first president vows to start pushing back if governments, employers don’t heed.". Toronto Star, August 31, 2013.
  4. ^ Unifor. "Unifor National President Jerry Dias retires". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  5. ^ "Notice to Members on Unifor's Disaffiliation from the Canadian Labour Congress". Unifor. 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  6. ^ "CLC accuses Unifor of leaving lobby group to raid another union". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2018-01-19. Retrieved 2019-10-03.
  7. ^ About Unifor. (2017, October 13). Unifor National. https://www.unifor.org/en/about-unifor
  8. ^ "GM trying to 'intimidate' union from airing Super Bowl ad, Unifor says". CBC News. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  9. ^ "Unifor airs Super Bowl ad despite GM's cease and desist letter". CBC News. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  10. ^ "1-S". Unifor National. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  11. ^ "2-S". Unifor National. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  12. ^ "649". Unifor National. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  13. ^ "820". Unifor National. 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  14. ^ Atter, Heidi (October 11, 2019). "Striking Crown workers and their supporters hold rally, march through downtown Regina". CBC News. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Impasse reached, Unifor set to strike against Saskatchewan Crowns". Global News. Retrieved 2019-10-19.

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