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An Inclusive Name and Website for Canada's Largest Union

When the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) merged, Canada’s largest private-sector union was born.


The new organization represents 300,000 members, 800 locals and 3,000 bargaining units in more than 20 different sectors.

PIVOT worked closely with Stratcom Strategic Communications to determine a name for the union and roll out a new brand identity and website.


As Canada’s largest private union, Unifor, like any other brand, needed to establish and maintain both its integrity and communications coast-to-coast-to-coast. We surveyed members and staff as a guide in the strategic naming process. In French, the name “Unifor” joins the words 'unis' (united) and 'fort' (strong). Ultimately Unifor represents, in both languages as a cognate, the core organisational values. It was devised as a fabricated name to be used with bold colours to represent the mass of the union workforce. PIVOT then developed comprehensive brand guidelines and proceeded to direct the website design.

With user research and collaborative work sessions alongside project stakeholders, the national website was designed to be fully accessible by their members and adhering to AODA standards. Each section of the site is colour-coded and responsive design allows the site to be scaled up and down to fit and function well on any screen size. A microsite system was also developed to satisfy the needs of the many Locals across Canada.

Working with PIVOT on this complex project was an outstanding experience for the StratCom project team from start to finish. PIVOT staff members were generous in sharing their professional expertise and collaborated closely with the client team to design a brand identity process carefully tailored to their needs. Also, they brought tremendous creative energy and talent to the table, and responded with speed and grace to every new demand or deadline. As always, PIVOT listened carefully and built its creative efforts on a deep understanding of the needs and vision of the new union.”

Senior Consultant, Stratcom


PIVOT helped organize the new union’s momentous name unveiling event, and we created a launch video to reveal the new name to the public. The hashtag #unifor quickly became the number one trending hashtag in Canada on Twitter that day. Our social media outreach efforts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) were an enormous success.

In addition to the launch event and website design, PIVOT also:

  • designed communication collateral and swag

  • created an advertising campaign for the union’s Young Workers group

  • developed a strategy and design for the Toyota organizing drive campaign, and

  • designed many more ongoing initiatives over the years following the launch

PIVOT brought a wealth of experience and insight to the project, backed up by rigorous research and an incredible amount of creativity. At every step, we were impressed by how they presented us with different and divergent options, always with thoughtful recommendations about the best way to proceed. We are so pleased with the result. It embodies the values we’re trying to express as the new trade union Unifor: bold, open, strong, and decisive. We’re really looking forward to working more with our new visual identity and face to the world.”

Communications Director, Unifor