Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has announced the election of Ken Lewenza as the union’s new president. Lewenza, who was elected by delegates representing CAW members from across Canada, replaces Buzz Hargrove, who has retired after 16 years as CAW president.
Lewenza, 54, is the former president of CAW Local 444 and the CAW Council. He is the third national president since the Canadian union’s founding in 1985, following Hargrove and his precedessor, Bob White.
In a speech, Lewenza outlined an agenda of hope and inspiration for members, urging them to take an active role in building a stronger future for workers, their families and communities, including keeping Stephen Harper out of government. “Where is Stephen Harper on a long-term strategy to preserve manufacturing jobs?” Lewenza said. “What we need is a Made in Canada industrial policy, one that allows us to build a strong economy and create jobs.”
Lewenza also stressed that he would continue to build the diversity of the union, and reach out and organize low-wage workers and the 70 per cent of Canadian workers who remain unorganized.