TORONTO -- Labour leaders say they've chosen a "modern, strong, innovative" name to unite workers in what will become Canada's largest private sector union, part of a branding effort they hope will help bolster their ranks.

The result of the merger of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers will be called Unifor, leaders announced Thursday at a news conference in Toronto.

Its logo will be a white U on a red shield, a symbol of the "strength, protection and security" the union will provide, they said.

"That name and logo will become famous, why? Because you're going to see us on the picket line, you're going to see us in the street," CEP spokesman Gaetan Menard told the cheering crowd of union members.

The CEP and CAW voted last year to join forces, a move they hope will boost the national labour movement.

The new union will represent more than 300,000 workers across roughly 20 sectors of the economy.

Most of the union's members will be concentrated in manufacturing, communications and transportation, but it will also represent some public sector employees working in health, education and transit roles.

Signing up new members will be Unifor's top priority and outreach efforts are already underway, even though the union itself won't officially exist until Labour Day weekend, union brass said.

The switch to a non-traditional name -- one that goes beyond simply listing occupations or industries -- signals the union is seeking broader, more diverse membership, said CEP president Dave Coles.

"Our members very clearly didn't want an acronym or to have a name that represents where we work. We don't care where we work, we want what we do," he said after the announcement.

The merger will mean giving up the brand recognition achieved by CAW and CEP after many years in the public eye, but Coles said he's confident the new union will quickly make a name for itself.

CAW national president Ken Lewenza said that while the new Unifor brand will help rally workers, in the end, it's the union's message that matters.

"The logo's important when we're at demonstrations, when we have our flags, when we're out there trying to expose what kind of an organization we are, that logo's going to mean a hell of a lot," he said.

"But what means everything, everything, in the labour movement is that we care for one another, that we have passion for one another, and that we don't leave anybody behind," he said.

He stressed Unifor shouldn't be seen as a threat to other unions, but rather as a complement, and urged all labour leaders to work together.