“Throughout his life, Bob was a fighter for the rights of working people in Canada and around the world,” said national president Mark Hancock. “At his last convention as CLC president, in 1999, I remember delegates honoured his legacy by singing What a Wonderful World. That’s what Bob spent his life working for – a wonderful world for everyone to share.”
A labour activist from the age of fifteen, he served as the first president of the Canadian Auto Workers (now Unifor), and later as president of the CLC. White was a key figure in the fight against the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and continued to oppose unfair international trade deals that lacked sufficient protections for human rights and labour rights.
“Bob’s lifetime commitment to social justice and the struggles of working people was an inspiration to us all,” national secretary-treasurer Charles Fleury said. “On behalf of all CUPE members, I want to recognize his many years of leadership in our movement, and extend our condolences to his family.”