About District 3
There are over 40,000 Steelworkers in Western Canada (the four western provinces and northern territories) that form District 3, geographically the largest district in the international union.
The USW of today barely resembles the mostly-male industrial union of the 1930s and ‘40s. Now more than 27 per cent of Steelworkers are women, and there is as growing membership among visible minority workers and young workers.
Steelworkers innovative educational programs, such as Women of Steel and Young Worker Awareness have assisted in making our union attractive to an increasing number of workers. The increasing diversity of the membership has worked to strengthen the basic principles on which the union was founded.
In 2004 the USW welcomed some workers employed in lumber and forestry industries through the union's successful merger with the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada (IWA Canada). Those former IWA Canada locals now compose most of our union's national Wood Council.
Steelworkers in Western Canada can be found working in such diverse areas as residential care homes, food processing facilities, financial services, the mining sector, the forest industry, steel pipe and metal fabrication, transportation and manufacturing.
Membership in the union is not the only way Steelworkers are connected with their communities. In Flin Flon, Manitoba, for example, the union operates a fishing camp every summer for kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
The Steelworkers' health and safety program Western Canada has included a long history of struggle. It has resulted in the Steelworkers' involvement in the development of the B.C. Mines Act, and changes to the B.C. Workers' Compensation Act.
Today the District 3 Women of Steel Committee helps develop strategies for organizing, collective bargaining and reaching out to other sisters in Western Canada and the northern territories.
Another USW innovation is the Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF), which our district places high on the collective bargaining agenda. Many Steelworkers local unions have bargained contributions of one cent per hour per member or more into the SHF. The fund, seen as a model by other unions, is used for international humanitarian relief, international trade union development and cooperation, and community projects in Canada.
Steelworkers' policies combat racism and sexism in the workplace, reflecting changes in the union's diverse membership. Women are more active than ever in all aspects of the union. Steelworker activists are also encouraged to participate in local union committees like human rights, organizing, education, and safety.
USW strength in collective bargaining has meant breakthroughs on pensions, pension-indexing and continued improvements in wages and working conditions.
The USW has many years of experience representing Aboriginal workers in the mining sector and forest industry sectors, where we have successfully negotiated collective agreements providing our Aboriginal sisters and brothers with strong and meaningful rights.
In Western Canada we have 9 regional offices in addition to the District 3 headquarters in Burnaby. In addition, the IWA Canada merger brought our union what are now 11 geographical locals. In those locals, experienced officers and staff assist in collective bargaining, organizing, research, health and safety, and more.
Steelworker locals in Western Canada have played leading roles in establishing the best collective agreements to be found anywhere in the world.
The USW is committed to fighting for better wages, benefits and working conditions; providing a democratic voice in the decisions that affect our working lives; and, through political action, building a progressive social movement to improve the lives of working men and women and their families.
We are Building Power. We are building Unity and Strength for Workers!
Our District 3 Office Headquarters is located in Burnaby, B.C.
- Stephen Hunt, District 3 Director Stephen Hunt has served as District 3 director since 2004. A trade unionist since he began working as a miner in British Columbia in 1973, Stephen was hired as a Steelworkers staff representative in 1984. A health and safety expert, Stephen was instrumental in the Steelworkers’ successful campaign to have the Westray Bill passed into law.
- Contact Us - District 3
- Join our union in Western Canada As a Steelworker member you can build a better future. You and your fellow workers can join our organization to fight for and maintain better wages, benefits and working conditions.
- USW District 3 RRSP Group Package Exclusive USW Investment Products: As a member of the United Steelworkers Union, your union dues give you access to a collection of exclusive investment opportunities provided by Community Savings Credit Union.
- USW 10% Discount with Mark's Workwearhouse Imagewear, a division of Mark's Work Wearhouse is offering a 10% discount card to USW District 3 members.