More than 2,000 convention delegates an guests gave outgoing secretary-treasurer Bob Orr an emotional standing ovation for his life-long commitment to Unifor and the labour movement.
“My individual achievements would not have been possible without the will and strength of our membership,” said Bob Orr, National Secretary-Treasurer. “When we formed Unifor, the membership set out to change the labour movement, and we have done just that!”
As a son of trade union activists, Orr started his working life in a union shop in 1978 in St. Catharines, Ontario. After being laid off, Orr went on to work at the GM Windsor Transmission plant.
Orr became active in his union, and passionately defended the rights of his co-workers, He was elected to ten positions over 14 years. In 1999, former National President Buzz Hargrove appointed Bob to a staff position at the CAW. Since then, he has worked in the Windsor, London, Chatham, Kitchener and Toronto offices. He quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed National Coordinator, National Staff Representative in Organizing and Service, and he served as Assistant to National Secretary-Treasurer’s Jim O’Neil and Peter Kennedy and later was apoointed Assistant to President Ken Lewenza and Jerry Dias.
“The pride Bob puts into your work and the commitment you’ve made to this unionis unmatched,”said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “For more than 35 years, you have shown us that through integrity and humanity, a better world is possible. Bob, thank you for being a tremendous leader and for all your service to our union.”
Before his speech, convention delegates watched a farewell tribute video that included heartfelt testimonials from members, elected and former officers tofurther illustrate Orr’s life-long commitment in fighting for the rights of workers across Canada.