About half of total CAW members work in manufacturing industries. Most are assigned to specific identified sub-sectors (such as major auto, aerospace, etc.). But over 18,000 CAW members work in a wide range of other manufacturing occupations. We name this group our "General Manufacturing" sector.

Close to half of this group are employed in various food and beverage manufacturing plants. Food and beverage manufacturing was relatively more stable during the recent crisis in Canadian manufacturing (these plants are less prone to relocate to low-cost foreign jurisdictions, because it's helpful to be located close to market). Thousands more members in this group work in electrical and electronics manufacturing. The General Manufacturing sector includes 275 bargaining units.

Unionization in manufacturing has declined in recent years, due to globalization, plant closures, and intense employer opposition. Union density is now 27%, lower than the Canadian average.

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