District 3 Director Stephen Hunt with the students of the Communication Class
Record Number of New Students Attend District 3 Summer School
Labour education builds power and solidarity in local unions, and nobody does it better than the United Steelworkers District 3. That was the message echoed by countless students who participated in the union's annual Summer School, held in Kimberley BC.
110 participants enrolled in weeklong courses that featured 3 newly developed courses, including effective communications, advanced grievance handling, and a new and improved occupational health and safety course. They were complemented by courses in facing management, bargaining to win and leadership.
The Summer School made history with a record number of first time students, which reflect the union's efforts to reach to new and younger members. Of the 110 students, 82 attended Summer School for the first time.
"Summer School represents an unrivaled opportunity to bring together members from the diverse corners of our vast district," said Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director.
"Along with gaining the new skills and confidence they need to become active members of the labour movement, the chance to share stories and experiences amongst members is just as important," Hunt said.
Along with their courses, participants also attended evening sessions that highlighted the political action and international solidarity efforts of the USW. International Solidarity night was a highlight of the week, as two union brothers from Mozambique were sponsored by the Steelworker Humanity Fund to travel to Kimberley to share their stories and thank their brothers and sisters in the Steelworkers for their support and Solidarity.
Faustino Ganegane and Paulo Oliveria work for Rio Tinto and Kenmare Mine, respectively, and together they drove home the importance of workers standing together across the globe. Participants left the session with a greater understanding of how what happens on the other side of the world can have a real impact on their own workplace.
"Summer School continues to be a great success because we have a great combination of instructors eager to share their expertise and passionate members who are eager to learn new skills," said Dayna Sykes, USW District 3 Education Coordinator.
"We're going to continue to work hard to constantly improve our education and training, to ensure that we are offering our members the opportunity to learn, to build solidarity across the district, and to take those experiences and skills back to their locals to put them to good use."