Team Bob White

team bob white landscape

walk for

The Alzheimer Society’s “Walk for Alzheimer’s” draws attention to dementia.  What most Canadians don’t know is that 564,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia in Canada.  This statistic is projected to grow to a staggering 937,000 in 15 years.   Over 1.1 million Canadians, including our members are directly or indirectly impacted by this disease.  The cost to provide care is $10.4 billion per year. No matter who you talk to, there is always a connection to this disease, it affects everyone! The Alzheimer Society’s “Walk for Alzheimer’s” is a national campaign that is community based. By entering a team in your community you can offer hope and assistance to families through a difficult and challenging time.

Can you imagine the impact of labour activists and their families in every community across Canada participating in the “Walk for Alzheimer’s” wearing “TEAM Bob White” T shirts.  We could raise funds for a good cause and pay tribute to Brother Bob White is across Canada.Locally, we have helped to raise thousands of dollars every year in Niagara. This year we entered a team Bob White and significantly increased the number of walkers and the amount of funds raised as a tribute to Brother Bob White.  If you would like to enter a team in your community click on the link, enter your province and Town to search for he nearest Walk For Memories..

Find a Walk location in Canada

Robert White

Robert “Bob” White was a prominent labour leader in the Canadian Trade Union Movement. Bob was born in Northern Ireland and emigrated with his family to Canada when he was 13 years old.

White’s involvement in the labour movement began as a teenager when, against his father’s advice, he became a shop steward at woodworking factory in Woodstock, Ontario. He rose to be Canadian Director of the United Auto Workers before leading Canadian workers out of the international union to form the CAW (now Unifor) In 1984, after leading Canadian members through the separation from its American parent (UAW) in 1992 Bob White became the president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

In 2017, Bob White died at the age of 81. The passing of Bob White impacted an entire generation of union members across Canada, Bob was a true Canadian Maverick and was a hero and inspiration to many. It was Bob’s strong principles and his optimism that brought us together. He helped make Canada a better place for all of us. Bob White’s legacy is without a doubt a stronger and more equitable Canada.

“Bob fought not just for the union but also for social justice. He believed in using our collective strength to make both our workplaces and our world better places. His vision lives on and we will continue the fight in his honour.” Jerry Dias.

Who is Bob White Wikipedia, Local 222 made a Bob White Video from slide show they produced for GM Council last year,   Local 199 has a series of pictures of Bob White on Flickr.



What is a campaign without a cool T shirt?  last year when we started Team Bob White we designed a T Shirt for our members to wear in the Walk for Alzheimer’s..  Initially we wanted to order a few dozen t shirts but quickly realised that ordering a small batch would result in the cost of the t shirt with three logos being $35 each.  The decision was made to jump in with both feet, we ordered 500 T- shirt and made them available to our members and other Unifor Local Unions in Canada.  The T shirts are made in Canada, come in red or black,  have the  Unifor Logo on the front and Bob White on the back. We have a limited number of t shirt left in most sizesLocal Unions can order them using the form below.

3. T Shirt Order Form Team Bob White 2019

walk for

There are currently 173 walks for Alzheimer’s in Canada ever year. If you would like to enter a team in your community click on the link, enter your province and look for the nearest Town on the list.  If you cant find  a walk please call the Alzheimer Society for more information.  Find a Walk location in Canada

Following is a list of local Unions that we know of that have entered a team in their community.

Coming Up

  1. Durham (Unifor Local 222) Captain Bonnie Martin Durham Team Bob White
  2. Ingersol (Local 88)   Ingersoll Walk Details
  3. Tillsonburg,  (Unifor Local 88)  Tillsonburg Walk Details
  4. Niagara  (Unifor Local 199)  Niagara Walk Details
  5. Woodstock (Unifor 636)Woodstock Walk Details
  6. McMaster/Hamilton (Unifor 5555)   McMaster/Hamilton Walk Details
  7. London
  8. Windsor

team bob white chequeJohn Pula

Locally we have supported the Walk for Alzhiemers the past twelve years or so.  John Pula, who is a retired member and  former Health & Safety rep at GM  was the driving force behind our support.  John has raised a lot of money, and volunteered countless hours for the Niagara chapter over the past decade.  John invited me to attend the walk held on the last Sunday of January at Brock University to take pictures of the walk , I have attended every walk since then to take picture of the event which we post the our Flickr account.   Last year I took a picture that gave us an idea.

There was a family at the Niagara walk with about 10 members all were wearing the same t shirt with a picture of a family member.  It was pretty powerful stuff, a great visual and a reminder who they were walking for.  I thought it was a wonderful tribute to a lost family member and  remember thinking, we should do that next year.

In February 2017 Bob White died, Bob was a legend in the labour movement and was diagnosed with dementia about 5 years ago.  I think everyone who knew him liked him he was a very giving and caring man, and an inspiration to many.  Bob was the President of the CAW and then the CLC he was considered a friend by Nelson Mandella. Bob often moved in powerful circles but I think he was happiest eating vanilla ice cream, walking the beach in Port Elgin, spending time with his family and he really liked karaoke. When Bob passed we decided to pay tribute to Bob White and enter a Team Bob White .   Initially is was just going to be the Niagara Area Campaign and we tried to get a deal on a few dozen shirts. But the more people we talked to we realised there was a lot of interest in the Team from other locations, the White family, our Union the staff in Port Elgin. Our members all wanted to pay tribute to Bob White.

This year at the walk  I saw the same family at the walk that had given us the idea (Matt’s Army), I went up to them and introduced myself, I told them that we were  inspired by their T- shirts, we designed our own and had sold 500 of them, I explained that through Team Bob White  we had raised over $25,000.  I wanted them to know that they should get the credit for the idea.  They all started to cry,  it was a very touching moment.

What Can You do to Help Locally?

  • Members can purchase TEAM BOB WHITE t shirts at the Union Hall for $20 (Canadian & Union Made)
  • Members in Niagara can Walk in the Walkathon at Brock University with their family and friends. Niagara – Sunday 21st January 2018, Terry McDougall 905-687-6859 ext 556 Niagara Walk Details
  • Members can collect donations using the attached pledge sheet.  PLEDGE SHEET Unifor 199
  • Members in the plant can sponsor a walker to raise funds, see Ed Steers,  Steve McMullen, Lorie Peacock, Melodie Zarlenga, Jordan Lennox, Scott Martini
  • Unifor Members in other location should check the link below for walks in your area.
  • Make a donation

More Information & Resources


  • Support from the National Union,  They responded very quickly with a big yes saying it was a great idea.
  • Attended two Unifor conventions in Winnipeg and Toronto to promote the team
  • Followed up with the White family, Marylyn endorsed the campaign and Bob’s Sister participated in the Woodstock walk.
  • So far we have entered teams in, Ingersoll, Windsor Niagara, Hamilton, Woodstock and Tillsonberg
  • Local 199 held a Labour Day raffle and raised $1,700 which was donated in Bob Whites name.
  • Unifor Local 199 made $1,000 donation
  • Unifor National office donated $5,000
  • Three of our members at local 199 raised around $2,000 each
  • Local 222 held a plant gate collection April 6th 2018,  raised over $4,000 dollars and also made a donation.

Collectively we have raised over $50,000,  This is a great tribute to Brother bob White

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