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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

CTMHV hangs former CAW sign

by Sylene Argent

The Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) has finally found a spot to hang the former Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) sign, which used to identify the build at Union Hall on Turner in Windsor.

  Mickey Moulder, Vice-Chairperson of the CTMHV said the union donated the sign to the local automotive museum when it changed into UNIFOR. The sign sat in storage for many years, but is now hanging proudly in a spot on the exterior of the facility that is visible from the Museum’s foyer.

  “We’re preserving history,” Moulder said.

  Electrical input still needs to be brought to the sign, and members of the Museum are excited to see the sign lit up. UNIFOR is partnering with the Museum to get the sign hung. Moir Crane used equipment to lift the sign, and three of its employees helped to install it.  UNIFOR Locals 200 and 444 each donated money to have the sign restored. Bill Thoman completed the restoration, which included replacing a transformer so that the sign can be eventually lit up.

  Many individuals were involved in bringing the sign to the Museum. In the future, a plaque will be added that will highlight the history of the CAW’s change to UNIFOR.

  The idea of hanging up the sign, Moulder continued, is to preserve the history of the Union – in the local Museum that preserves the history of the automobiles – which first began as the United Auto Workers (UAW).

  Bob White, Moulder recalled, was integral in the change from the UAW to the CAW. At that time, he said, the Canadians involved with the international union wanted more of a voice at the table. White was President of the CAW.

  Another story of local auto-union history Moulder shared was that in 1977, Charles Brooks, who was the President of Local 444, was assassinated by an indignant Chrysler worker. He was the President of the United Auto Workers Local 444 for 21-years.

  Coming up, on April 15, the CTMHV will unveil an 1885 motorcycle. This was the world’s first Daimler, which made motorcycles out of solid oak, before it made automobiles, Moulder noted.   


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