Unifor Local 444's Cassidy proposing town-hall-style National Unifor debate


Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy wants to see candidates in the running to become the next Unifor national president participate in a debate before the convention in August.

In particular, Cassidy is proposing a town-hall-style debate with the other candidates.

He says the three candidates in the running were on with a local union in B.C. recently and had a debate, which went well, and gave him the idea for a bigger forum to get members involved.

"Not sure what that process would look like, but with technology these days there would be no problem to have it. I just don't want to see people on their keyboards and jumping in, I'd like to have a live debate where we can actually go through the process. I mean, there's 315,00 members right, it's a big organization," he said.

Cassidy says some of the biggest issues he's discussing are related to getting Unifor focused again.

"We have fallen short on our organizing. That's one of things, organize the unorganized. The money that we spend towards organizing is not there, we need to focus on that. We need to focus on collective bargaining, that's another big focus, and the other one is education."

He believes that some members have lost trust in leadership after the revelations about former president Jerry Dias, and restoring trust will take a concerted effort.

"To put humpty dumpty back together again is going to take a lot of work, and I think that's something I have the fortitude to do. By reaching out to the members, talking with members and making them feel a part of the organization. Instead of just this is what we do, and this is how we do it, we need to create space for people and allow people to get involved."

Cassidy says this will give members a chance to see the candidates discuss their stances on certain issues, and share their ideas on how to improve Unifor.

Along with Cassidy, Scott Doherty and Lana Payne are also running to be the new Unifor national president.

The new leader will be elected to a three-year term at Unifor's constitutional convention in August.



- with files from AM800's The Morning Drive