|CAW National Representatives Doug Olshewski and Brian McDonagh retiring
Long-time CAW National Representatives Doug Olshewski and Brian McDonagh
are retiring following years of dedicated service to CAW members, Locals and
Local Union officers that they have assisted over the years.
Brother Olshewski hired on with Canadian National Railways in 1966, working
various classifications under Agreement 5.1. His last stint at CN saw him working
in the former Employee Relations Department at Union Station (the Depot) in
Downtown Winnipeg. During his years at CN, Doug was elected to various
positions with the Union, back then, the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway,
Transport and General Workers Union (CBRT&GW), including as Local Chairperson
for Downtown Winnipeg.
In 1988, Doug became a full time Regional Vice President with the CBRT&GW for
the Prairie Region based in Winnipeg, working out of the former Union Centre on
Portage Avenue before it moved to the new Union Centre at its current location
on Broadway Avenue at Smith Street.
Doug became a National Representative with the CAW when the 36,000-member CBRT&GW merged with the Canadian Auto
Workers Union in 1994.
Brother McDonagh was employed with Canadian Pacific Railway where he worked as a Carmen in Port Coquitlam, B.C. During his
time with CP, Brian also held various positions within the Union, back then the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of Canada (BRCC).
Brian was later elected as System General Chairman of the BRCC. In 1990, the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of Canada joined
the CAW, when Brother McDonagh became the President of CAW Local 101.
Brian was appointed as National Representative by then CAW President Buzz Hargrove in 1994. During his time with the national
staff of the CAW, Brian has represented various sectors of the CAW membership in British Columbia and Alberta. His primary role
though has been with the servicing of CAW Rail members at CP (Local 101), CN (Local 100), the former BC Rail (Local 102) and Rocky
Mountaineer Vacations (Council 4000). Brian has also been involved over the years with Council 4000’s CN membership in Alberta
and B.C. Brian played a significant role for the CAW in fighting the BC Government leading up to the privatization of BC Rail in 2004.
Over the years, both Brothers Olshewski and McDonagh have served on various bargaining committees.
They have presented hundreds of grievances before arbitrators at arbitration, many of which succeeded
seeing members reinstated from wrongful discharge, harsh disciplinary action expunged or reduced,
members compensated for lost time, and victories on various policy matters that had a positive impact on
our membership. In addition to collective bargaining and arbitration hearings, they also represented the
membership and the Union before various conventions, tribunals, organizations, Provincial Labour Boards
and the Canada Industrial Relations Board, to name some.
Both Brothers Olshewski and McDonagh played an incredibly important role in building the Rail sector and
can be proud of their individual accomplishments within our Union.
We wish both Brother Olshewski and Brother McDonagh all the very best that their future brings them,
and wish them a long, healthy and prosperous retirement.
As announced by CAW National President Ken Lewenza, CAW National Council 4000 President Bob
Fitzgerald will be joining the staff of the union effective Monday, July 27, 2009, replacing Doug Olshewski.
Present CAW National Representative Brian Stevens will be assuming Brian McDonagh’s duties as of
August 17, 2009. Brother Stevens has been on the national staff for a number of years, servicing the
CAW membership in various sectors, including CAW Rail members at Ontario Northland. He has also
assisted CAW National Council 4000 in servicing the members at Coyote Terminals. Brian was formerly the
President of CAW Local 103 in North Bay, Ontario, whose members are employed at Ontario Northland.
|(Top & bottom photos)|
Brian and Doug talking to
VIA Rail passengers at
Central Station in Montreal
during the CAW's Let's Fund
VIA Campaign in 2007
Bob Fitzgerald appointed to CAW national staff (July 23, 2009)