TORONTO - The United Steelworkers (USW) today endorsed Brian Topp to become the next leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada.
With over 225,000 members across Canada, the USW is the NDP's largest affiliated union and Canada's largest private sector union. The USW represents women and men in every economic sector, including mining, forestry and universities.
Canadian National Director for the USW, Ken Neumann said that the choice of the new NDP leader is critical to the future of working families right across the country.
"Under Stephen Harper working families are falling further and further behind," said Neumann. "That's why we need a federal leader who has what it takes to beat Stephen Harper and to govern well with strong New Democrat values."
"That leader is Brian Topp. And the United Steelworkers is proud to strongly endorse Brian to become the next leader of the NDP."
Neumann said that Topp has the broad national experience that is required to finish the job Jack Layton started and take the NDP to government.
"Whether it was working in the government of Saskatchewan, helping lead the NDP's campaign in BC, or being at the heart of all four of Jack Layton's national campaigns, Brian has consistently shown a deep commitment to the NDP and to creating a better, more equal Canada," said Neumann.
Wayne Fraser, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, said that Brian can be counted on to put working families first.
"I know that Brian will fight hard for Canadian jobs," said Fraser. "He understands that good jobs are the backbone of strong communities across Canada, and that a strong economy must include security and opportunity for working families."
"Brian is a strong leader with a clear vision for our country," said Steve Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada. "He has deep roots in our party and in communities across Canada -- including in Western Canada -- and he will fight everyday to make the party's core values a reality for working families. That's the kind of leadership we need."
District 5 of the USW, representing members in the province of Quebec, traditionally undertakes its own process during political proceedings. "The USW has a long history of respecting the autonomy of our Quebec sisters and brothers on these issues," Neumann said.
The USW will work energetically to encourage all of its members and retirees to join the NDP and to participate in the leadership vote.
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Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5950
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, firstname.lastname@example.org