Unifor membership elects Lana Payne as new leader

In its first contested election in almost 10 years, Canada's largest private-sector union has elected Lana Payne as the new national president of Unifor. She is the first woman to hold the position.

Unifor is the largest private-sector union in Canada, representing more than 300,000 members

In its first contested election in almost 10 years, Canada's largest private-sector union has elected Lana Payne as the new national president of Unifor.

She is the first woman to hold the position.

"We can bring our union to more and more workers because we know every worker deserves to have our union," Payne said in a speech to delegates after she was elected.

Payne was previously national secretary-treasurer of Unifor. She defeated executive assistant to the president Scott Doherty and Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy.

In a statement, Unifor said as part of her campaign, Payne championed the need for greater transparency and accountability in the union.

In her role as secretary-treasurer, Payne initiated an independent external investigation into former Unifor president Jerry Dias in January. Dias was accused of taking money for recommending a company supplying COVID-19 test kits to Unifor employers. He announced his eventual retirement from Unifor's leadership in March.

Dias was first elected national president in 2013. He was the first president of Unifor, which was formed after the Canadian Auto Workers Union merged with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Unifor represents more than 300,000 workers across Canada in a wide range of industries.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Wheatley is a journalist in the CBC's business unit. She also works with CBC News Network- producing live and breaking news. She is based in Toronto.

    With files from Peter Zimonjic

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