Bob White was the most important union leader in Canada the last quarter of the 20th century. He even got a respectful shout-out from the arch-capitalist Globe and Mail on his passing.
Alas, Bob's work is a work in progress. I mean no disrespect to the guys who have followed Bob at CAW and CLC and Unifor, but in Bob's day the weasels at Lear would have seen Bob himself on the picket line and the Lear story would have been on the front page, not buried in the business section.
I was at various times a member of both the UAW and the CAW. I have to say taking the Canadians out of the UAW was a ballsy move at the time. But was it the right move? I'm not sure.
If labour is to have any heft in this age of globalization, it pretty much demands international unions. Otherwise we're just going to see the downward spiral continue.
After all, why should the capitalists who own Lear give a shit whether their workers make $52 per hour or $30 per hour, when they can just move the entire plant to Mexico where workers are delighted to make $2 per hour?
That's the magic of "free trade."