Mike McNeil

Mike McNeil was the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Nova Scotia. (CUPE Nova Scotia/Ully Bleil)

A leader in the Nova Scotia labour movement is being mourned after he died peacefully in his sleep Saturday. 

Mike McNeil, 60, was the president of the Nova Scotia Canadian Union of Public Employees.

He died suddenly in Port Hawkesbury Saturday while travelling on union business, CUPE said in an announcement Sunday. 

Based in Halifax, McNeil took over as acting president of CUPE Nova Scotia after former president Danny Cavanagh became president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour last fall.

McNeil was planning to run for re-election at the CUPE convention in late April. 

"Mike was a very positive person. He just wanted to continue to take on the struggles and connect with CUPE members from one end of the province to the other," said Cavanagh Sunday. 

Cavanagh said he'd known McNeil for more than 25 years, and they worked together for the last 10 years side by side in the role of president and vice president.

"He was always the kind of person that was about building the trade union movement and getting more people involved in their union, and he just wanted to carry on and continue that work to educate people about the strengths of the labour movement and why it was important," said Cavanagh.  

McNeil is survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren.

Details of McNeil's funeral service will be finalized in the coming days.