Unifor Local 444 President Will Not Seek Another Term

The president of Unifor Local 444 will not be running for re-election.

James Stewart made the announcement Tuesday night at the local's membership meeting and will instead run for the secretary-treasurer position.

Stewart feels it's the right direction for the local.  "Our members want us to be solid at the top," says Stewart.  "They want to make sure that there's no animosity towards each other, that we're all rowing in the same direction, moving the needle forward for our members."

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Newly elected Unifor Local 444 President, James Stewart, August 2017 (Photo by AM800's Peter Langille)

Stewart moved into the post around nine months ago after being endorsed by the union's executive board, replacing former president Dino Chiodo after he accepted a position with the national union.  He had served as Chiodo's first-vice president and has been with the local since 2002.

Dave Cassidy has announced plans to seek the top job, a move being endorsed by Stewart. "We had to sit down and figure out what was best, what caused the least pain and at the end of it we were all working together. That said, Dave Cassidy has been clear he's got an interest in the job and when we all sat and talked about it, and after a lot of conversation, that's where the support is for the president job," says Stewart.

Cassidy says the local is heading in the right direction and he wants to be apart of it. "There has obviously been some rifts from the past and those rifts are no longer here," says Cassidy.  "We work collectively as a team and we talk all the time amongst us other officers, and it's something that's not been here for a while."

Cassidy has been with the local for the last nine years.

The Executive Board Election will be held on May 22 and 23.