February 20, 2017
(Toronto) – The labour movement has lost a great activist and visionary leader. Today, the OFL mourns the passing of former CAW founding President and former Canadian Labour Congress President Bob White, and sends condolences to his family, friends and all those with whom he stood in solidarity.
“The work Bob did for Canadian workers has shaped labour rights in this country,” said OFL President Chris Buckley. “His commitment to social justice and fairness was legendary. He was a role model for labour activists across this country and beyond, including for myself. What was also remarkable about Bob was his treatment of others – he treated each person with dignity and respect, regardless of their title, socio-economic position, gender, race, age or sexual orientation. His warmth and generosity of spirit drew people in and his brilliance and tenacity made him the leader that he was.”
Bob White saw the interconnections of worker and social justice struggles worldwide. He was a champion of the anti-apartheid movement. He served as the first Canadian president of the OECD’s Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) and as chair of the Human and Trade Union Rights Committee of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.White’s work to build a more inclusive labour movement laid the groundwork for solidarity in social justice struggles across Canada.
“Wherever organizations of any type come together, there are challenges to be met and risks to be taken. Bob was not afraid to embrace change and the discussions that come along with it, but he also knew that in the end, it was working together that was the key to achieving justice for workers. It was an inspiration to see his work” said Buckley, who called White a long-time personal hero.
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