Mr. Speaker, I stand to pay tribute to Bob White, a true icon in the Canadian labour movement. A lifetime of fighting for workers' rights began at the tender age of 17, when he was a shop steward, not long after leading 500 workers off the job on his first strike action.
Recognizing that Canadian workers needed to control their own destiny, in 1985 Bob White changed Canada's labour landscape by leading the charge to split from the United Auto Workers to form the Canadian Auto Workers. After serving three terms as CAW's president, he moved on to the Canadian Labour Congress, serving as its president for seven years and continuing to be a fierce advocate for workers' rights. A tireless champion for social justice and fair trade, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his exceptional service to this country.
Bob White was respected by workers and business leaders alike and inspired the current generation of labour leaders, like Unifor president Jerry Dias and CLC president Hassan Yussuff, both former CAW members.
To Bob's family, friends, and former colleagues, we offer our deepest condolences.