Project Ideas

Not sure where to start with your submission? Our project ideas might spark your local’s next FCEF application!

KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE)

Learn more about the history of Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations in Canada and the continued resiliency of diverse Indigenous communities today.

KAIROS Canada is an ecumenical movement for ecological justice and human rights which has developed a popular tool for teaching Indigenous and non-Indigenous people about Canada’s colonial history. The Blanket Exercise walks participants of all ages through Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations in Canada from pre-contact to today. It has been developed in partnership with Indigenous Elders and facilitators. This exercise is hugely popular at USW events.

Your local union can reach out to KAIROS to get a cost estimate of running this activity. Invite your members, their families and neighbours to participate – there are virtual and in-person options! This event can take up to three hours, so consider bringing snacks.

Afterwards, share with participants the work your local and our union does with and in support of Indigenous people, or if you’re just beginning to make relationships with Indigenous communities in your region, your ideas on building solidarity locally.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: KBE fee, event advertising, facility rental OR video conferencing technology, snacks.

Francophone Language and Culture Celebration

Francophones contribute to the richness of Canadian culture and live in all provinces and territories. For local unions outside of Quebec, take a day to celebrate Francophone language and culture with your members.

Show your Francophone pride and host a cultural showcase of uniquely Francophone flavours, sounds and activities! Many provinces and territories take one day each year to appreciate French heritage. For example, Newfoundland and Labrador celebrate Provincial Francophonie Day on May 30, while B.C. has its own on March 20, and in Ontario, Franco-Ontarian Day is commemorated on September 25. Contact your provincial or territorial government’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage for more details. If you’d prefer warmer weather, consider hosting your event close to Fête nationale du Québec which takes place annually on June 24.

Offer a community barbeque and have members share their experiences as Francophone Steelworkers. Take this opportunity to speak to the important work your local does to further solidarity between French and English speakers and how your local contributes to the resiliency of the Francophonie labour movement. If any members of your community and/or local are not fully fluent in French, include simple language games at your event so that they too can join in on the fun. As always, ensure you include active learning components at your celebration, like trivia. Visit the FCEF’s Education Component webpage for more programming ideas.

If you’re ordering food, make sure your caterer meets the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (lost time or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like temporary tattoos, volunteers, microphone and speakers rental, translator (if participants are not fluent in your primary language).

Black History Month Celebration (February)

Black History Month is February! Invite your Black-identified members and allies to take the lead on planning a Black History Month event or workshop series.

Black History Month, also known as African Heritage month, is a chance to celebrate and promote Black history and culture and to learn more about Canada’s history of discrimination against people of colour. Your district and national directors have likely issued statements to acknowledge this special month. Find these and read them out at your event.

Possible events might include a speaker’s panel, music and meal with Black unionists; a film screening and discussion with options like Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia, Home Feeling: Struggle for a Community, Speakers for the Dead, The Road Taken, Across the Line and There’s Something in the Water; and an African dance workshop. Let yourself get creative!

If you’re ordering food, use a Black-owned caterer and make sure they meet the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like pins, public performance license for showing movie, volunteers, microphone and speakers rental.

International Women's Day Celebration (March 8)

International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place annually on March 8. Invite your Women of Steel Committee and women in your local union to take the lead on planning an IWD event!

The women of your local can do any number of things to commemorate International Women’s Day – a march for gender justice, workshops on self-defense, a community barbeque where speakers discuss their experiences and achievements as women in the trades or a family story time at your union hall, reading books like Brave Girl by Michelle Merkel, Mother Jones and her Army of Mill Children by Jonah Winter and That’s Not Fair! by Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Teneyuca. The ideas are endless!

Your local can also partner on an event with a neighbouring organization that works to promote women’s rights. As well, your district and national directors have likely issued statements to acknowledge this special day. Find these and read them out at your event.

Remember, if you’re picking a caterer, they must meet the standards of your local Public Health authority and have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like t-shirts, volunteers, social gathering permit, microphone and speakers rental.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21)

March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD). This day, started by the United Nations in 1966, pushes us to fight harder for the end of race-based discrimination and racism across the globe.

Invite your racialized members and allies to take the lead on planning an IDERD event. If there are events already being planned in your community, partner on these initiatives. Otherwise, ideas could range from a talk by speakers from the labour movement and your local on their fight for equity and racial justice, a KAIROS blanket exercise on Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations in Canada (see our Blanket Exercise project template), a spoken word event with participants from your local and neighbouring community, a townhall meeting to discuss your local’s work social justice and more.

If you’re ordering food, make sure your caterer meets the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like t-shirts, volunteers, microphone and speakers rental.

Asian Heritage Month Celebration (May)

May is Asian Heritage Month! Invite your Asian-identified members and allies to take the lead on planning an Asian Heritage Month event or workshop series.

Asian Heritage Month is a chance to celebrate and promote Asian histories and cultures and to learn more about Canada’s history of discrimination against Asian-descendant people. May is an opportunity to note the immense contributions of people from Central Asia, East Asia, Southern Asia and Western and Southeast Asia!

Possible events might include a speaker’s panel, music, and meal with Asian unionists; a film screening and discussion with options like the National Film Board’s The Chinese-Canadian Experience film series, Unwanted Soldiers, Scenes from a Corner Store, Continuous Journey, Ninth Floor or Everything Will Be; and a cultural exhibition sharing art, poetry, dances and games. The opportunities are endless!

If you’re ordering food, use an Asian-owned caterer and make sure they meet the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like lollipops, public performance license for showing movie, volunteers, microphone and speakers rental.

Pride Month Celebration (June)

Pride Month, a celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer and Questioning Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual, Plus (LGBTQ2SIA+) community takes place every June! Invite your LGBTQ2SIA+-identified members and allies to take the lead on planning a Pride Month event or workshop series.

Pride Month is a chance to celebrate and promote the LGBTQ2SIA+ community, to stand in solidarity with its struggles for justice and to acknowledge its dynamic history locally and globally. It’s likely that your community is already hosting a parade and/or other activities that you can support.

In case your community isn’t planning its own Pride festivities, see about partnering on an event with a local organization that works with the LGBTQ2SIA+ community! Possible events might include a speakers panel, music, and meal with LGBTQ2SIA+ unionists and their allies; a solidarity march and barbeque; a film screening and discussion on the origins of Pride with a film like The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson; LGBTQ2SIA+ history trivia; or a drag queen storytime for little ones. Let yourself get creative!

Your district and national directors have likely issued statements to acknowledge this special month. Find these and read them out at your event. And don’t hesitate to share with participants the work your local does to support its LGBTQ2SIA+ members and families.

If you’re ordering food, make sure your caterer meets the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like handheld fans, public performance license for showing movie, volunteers, microphone and speakers rental.

National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration (June 21)

Each June 21, people in Canada formally recognize the unique cultures and contributions of the Indigenous peoples – First Nations, Inuit, and Métis – who live on these lands. The day also provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these diverse peoples and to stand in solidarity with them and their ongoing struggles for justice.

Invite your Indigenous-identified members and allies to take the lead on planning a National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration. As June is National Indigenous History Month, consider creating an event series! Your district and national directors have likely issued statements to acknowledge this special day. Find these and read them out at your event.

Reach out to the Friendship Centre in your area to learn of nearby cultural celebrations and about the possibility of partnering to co-host an event. Organize a cultural showcase, a community barbeque with Indigenous speakers and allies, a solidarity march or a book reading. The possibilities are endless! Whatever activity you pick, make sure you include an active educational component, like the KAIROS Blanket Exercise. Visit the FCEF’s Education Component webpage for more programming ideas.

If you’re ordering food, use an Indigenous-owned caterer and make sure they meet the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices. 

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like bookmarks, volunteers, microphone and speakers rental.

Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27)

On June 27, Canadians celebrate the diverse multiculturalism that makes up our country.

People of all races and ethnicities contribute to the richness of Canadian society. On June 27, events are hosted across the country that highlight how our diversity is also our strength. Invite members of your local from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds to organize a commemorative, community event.

Fun activities might include a catered meal; partnering with a local citizenship ceremony; cultural sharing with music, singing and dancing; speakers from your local discussing how their cultures fit into and complement their union and more! Ensure you include an active educational component at your celebration – check the FCEF website for ideas. Make sure you tell participants about the work USW does to promote solidarity and social justice locally and globally. And when picking your caterer, make sure they meet the standards of your local Public Health authority and that they have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, social gathering permit, microphone and speakers rental, USW-branded swag like flags, volunteers.

Emancipation Day Celebration (August 1)

August 1 is Emancipation Day in Canada, which commemorates the day in 1834 when slavery was abolished in most British colonies. It’s formally recognized by the province of Ontario.

Celebrate Black heritage and support your members, families and friends in learning more about the struggles of African-descendant people. Invite your Black-identified members and allies to take the lead on planning your local’s Emancipation Day celebration.

Host a speaker on Black history in Canada or air a film like Mr. Emancipation: The Walter Perry Story and lead attendees in a discussion on race in Canada and how your local union is involved in the continued fight for social justice. Invite the entire community, and if you’re ordering food, use a Black-owned caterer. Ensure the caterer meets the standards of your local Public Health authority and that they have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, USW-branded swag like bumper stickers, public performance license for showing movie.

Orange Shirt Day (September 30)

On September 30, Canadians acknowledge the residential school experience and its ongoing impacts on Indigenous communities. Participants wear orange t-shirts to commemorate residential school survivor Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s orange shirt that was stolen from her on her first day of school.

Invite your Indigenous-identified members and allies to organize an Orange Shirt Day event at your local union. Use this day to discuss the effects of the residential school system on Indigenous peoples and the need to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous siblings and share their fight to secure social justice. Encourage your members to wear orange on September 30 and host a coffee and muffin conversation drop-in, book reading or movie viewing and discussion (read The Orange Shirt Story and find Youtube videos about Phyillis Webstad online), or town hall event on what reconciliation means to your local. There are many educational resources to support you with event planning at www.orangeshirtday.org.

If you’re ordering food, use an Indigenous-owned caterer and make sure they meet the standards of your local Public Health authority. They should also have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g. halal, gluten free choices.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, caterer, orange USW t-shirts.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada (December 6)

Canadians recognize December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Many use this day to host a memorial to commemorate the fourteen women massacred on December 6, 1989, at the École Polytechnique in Montreal and to mourn all female victims of gender-based violence.

It is very likely that your community or nearest women’s shelter is hosting a gathering, so connect with local agencies to see about supporting their efforts. Invite your Women of Steel Committee and women in your local union to take the lead on planning or co-hosting a December 6 event.

In case there isn’t an event happening in your community, partner with a woman’s shelter in your neighbourhood and invite the wider community to a candlelight vigil. Speak about the work your local union does to promote gender justice, support survivors and challenge sexual violence against women. For an educational component, lead a short presentation on how we can address domestic violence and support any members experiencing it by bargaining language into our collective agreements. Find USW resources on the topic here.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: event advertising, coffee caterer, USW-branded swag like hats, candles, volunteers.

Mentorship Program 

Numerous USW local unions have already taken part in formal mentoring programs, and your local can, too.

USW mentoring programs pair more experienced members (“mentors”) with members who want to expand their skills and knowledge (“learners”). Mentoring strengthens our union by:

  • Increasing the confidence and abilities of activists and leaders in local unions
  • Encouraging more political and community activism
  • Developing more new, young and diverse activists and future leaders

USW mentoring programs include a recruitment process, an orientation session for the mentors and learners and a structure to guide mentoring work over a twelve-month period.  

The Family & Community Education Fund can cover the costs of the orientation session and overall program co-ordination by a local member booked off periodically for the purpose. Your District Education Co-ordinator can explain the program and assist with recruitment and orientation. Other than during the orientation session, mentors and learners are expected to meet on their own time, either in person, by telephone or on Zoom or other platforms.

Family Education Day

USW Family Education Day is a program that provides funding for locals to bring together USW members, their families and allies in the social justice movement for a day of education, culture and networking.  

Holding a USW Family Education Day is a great way for your local to:

  • build solidarity inside the union, your membership, the broader labour movement and the community; and  
  • bring people together in a positive way to celebrate the work we do to improve the lives of working people and their families. 

Think you might be interested in holding a USW Family Education Day for your local?  Below are some answers to questions you may have about hosting one of these events at your local:

Who can sponsor a USW Family Education Day?

  • Any local who contributes to the USW Family and Community Education Fund can sponsor a USW Family Education Day, and can work collaboratively with others to "make it happen".
  • An Area Council can also sponsor a USW Family Education Day if at least one local in the Area Council contributes to the Family and Community Education Fund.
  • If your local does not yet contribute to the USW Family and Community Education Fund, you can easily start to participate by filling out the check-off authorization.

More Information on Family Education Days

Family Education Day Application Form

Public Performance Film Screening

Host a film screening for your membership and community!

In Canada, there are copyright laws in place to protect film rights, so it’s essential to do your due diligence when hosting movie events.

The Canadian Copyright Act states that the airing of any film in a space outside of one’s home requires a “public performance license.” This must be paid to the distributor that owns the right to the film. The Canadian Copyright Act also requires that the organizer secures written permission from the copyright holder to play the movie, and that this be kept on file. Not doing this could result in legal penalties.

  1. To get started, identify the film you’d like to air and determine which Canadian distributor owns the rights to it. You can find these details online by searching the name of the film and “film distributor,” and/or find the name of the distributor in the film’s credits. As an example, Audio Cine Films Inc. has exclusive Canadian rights to many film studios and producers including productions by Walt Disney Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM). Criterion is another key distributor in Canada, which has rights to Warner Brothers and eOne Films movies, among others.
  2. Search this distributor and request a quote for a license and/or complete an application form. Some distributors provide reduced rates for small or non-profit organizations, so make sure to ask about this. You can purchase short or single presentation licenses or annual public performance site licenses, depending on your needs.
  3. After paying for your public performance license, secure the film you will air. This might come from your personal collection, the public library or a store. Even if you own the movie and are not charging for your event, you must purchase a public performance license. Note that you cannot stream films from Netflix, Google Play, CRAVE TV, Amazon Prime or iTunes, as their terms of usage do not permit public performances. As well, more recent films can cost more than older releases.
  4. Secure a film projector, screen and AV equipment, if you need it. You can find these at most audio-visual rental stores.
  5. Advertise and host your event! 

The National Film Board is a great place to find social justice-oriented, Canadian film content. If your event is free, they’ll provide you the film(s) you’d like free of charge! Search for the “NFB” on the web.

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival can help your local host a festival screening of select films. Find them online for details on how to host a screening.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: public performance license, film, social gathering permit, caterer, facility rental/union hall, microphone and speakers rental, AV equipment, film projector, rental screen to project film onto, USW-branded swag like t-shirts, advertising.

Community BBQ

Events that include the broader community are a great way to increase your local’s visibility and teach others about the important work you do. Especially fun are family-friendly outreach events like community barbeques!

Before you plan your event, decide on what message you’d like to share with participants. Are you hoping to showcase the work your members do, the work of your local union and/or the achievements of particular members to those in attendance? From there, decide which educational components you’ll incorporate. You might want to have speakers present on a topic as participants eat or run a ‘world café’ activity where speakers lead and rotate through small group discussions at different stations. You could also host kids’ programming like workers’ rights bingo or have a trivia competition for older folks. Contact your District Education Co-ordinator for suggestions on designing a discussion activity. You can visit the FCEF’s Education Component webpage for more programming ideas.

Once you have a vision for the day, select members from your local union to speak and engage high school students as volunteer helpers. When picking your caterer, make sure they meet the standards of your local Public Health authority and that they have a range of food options for those with dietary restrictions, e.g., halal, gluten free choices. If you’ve got space, consider hosting at your local’s union hall!

Go far and wide with advertising your event. Consider promoting it through social media, radio advertisements, paper flyers and newspaper ads. And don’t forget to distribute swag to attendees so they can rep their USW and Steelworker pride.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: food, USW-branded swag like keychains, activity resources, volunteers, speaker fees (work release or honoraria), event advertising, social gathering permit, USW-branded shirts for volunteers.

Labour Day Celebration

Share the value of unions and the gains made by the labour movement by hosting a public Labour Day celebration.

Teach attendees about your local union and how the fight for workers’ rights benefits us all through speakers, sharing a meal with non-USW community members, union-focused kids’ programming and a solidarity march. Consider inviting other local union leaders to attend or partnering with neighbouring unions to further the event’s outreach and scale.

To really give your event weight, give local politicians a platform to speak on current issues your community is facing and give participants an opportunity to share back with those representatives the issues that are important to them as community members.

Seek volunteers from local high schools and from members’ families and encourage your members to mingle with attendees. Doing so will help your local make further connections in your community.

To make this event virtual, deliver swag and activity bags to interested participants, create union-focused trivia and at-home scavenger hunts for prizes, and host an at-home watch party of a union-focused movie like STAND!

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: advertising, USW-branded swag like paper fans, activity materials, food, USW-branded shirts, speakers’ fees, social gathering permit, portapotty, bouncy castle, musicians, volunteers.

Community Basketball Clinic

Watching and participating in sports together helps to build connections with our union siblings.

With a neighbouring USW local, co-host a basketball clinic for Steelworkers children and their friends, and after, play a game together.

Have members of your local teach children and youth basic basketball drills, shooting and dribbling. Prioritize spots for Steelworker families, but ensure community members and their kids can participate too. As you run the sports clinic, talk with the youth participants about how a local union and a basketball team are similar  for example, how both work for the betterment of their members – and the importance of developing a healthy, respectful environment for each.

Afterwards, have an executive from your local speak about the work of your local within USW and the wider community. They can then introduce a basketball game between USW adults from your and neighbouring locals or between Steelworkers families and friends. Whether people play or watch, they’re guaranteed to have fun! You can also have a side table with USW-branded swag and flyers from your local union. 

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: gym rental, USW-branded jerseys, USW-branded swag like water bottles, food, insurance, advertising, microphone and speakers rental.

Family Wellness Programming for Web or In-Person

Support Steelworkers families with strengthening their mental health by inviting them to creative, stress-reducing programming!

For those living with stress or anxiety, it’s essential to identify ways to ground oneself and to regain a sense of calm. Many stress-reducing activities work well online and in in-person formats, like the following:

  • Zentangle is a trademarked method of methodical, pattern-based drawing that helps participants relax and focus, expand their imagination and increase their awareness. Find a certified Zentangle teacher online and host a course either in-person or via video conferencing. Invite your members and their families so that everyone can benefit! 
  • Basic meditation and breathing techniques are easy to teach and offer a sure way to help people slow down and recharge. Find an instructor from a local yoga/meditation studio or your own membership and have them walk members and their families through a guided meditation, deep breathing techniques and finger tracing exercises that encourage calmness. 
  • Family yoga and gentle stretching promotes wellness in Steelworker families. Have participants follow along with a Youtube video or live fitness instructor. No need to go to a yoga studio – have participants take part from the comfort of their homes with webcam instruction!

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: course instructor fee, activity materials (e.g., craft kits, USW-branded sweat bands), advertising, facility rental OR video conferencing membership/usage fees.

Soup Kitchen Meal Program

Steelworkers make great neighbours and love giving back to their local communities. One way they do this is by partnering with community meal programs.

Develop a partnership with a neighbouring service agency and co-host a dinner for community members who are food insecure. Start small: team up to help with a holiday meal, and if there’s continued interest from your members, sign on to assist with drop-in meals weekly.

Opportunities like this attract Steelworkers young and old and get more members engaged in your local. You can even invite members to bring their families and friends to assist, meaning your initiative would meet all of the Fund’s four themes!

Members can help with preparing and serving the drop-in meal. As you work together in the kitchen and clean up after the meal, do an informal presentation to participants on the good work USW and your local do and offer more ways that members can get involved. This brief, deliberate presentation would count as your event’s educational component!

Assisting a neighbouring community service agency with hosting drop-in meals increases your local’s visibility in the community, expands your members’ awareness of social justice issues and helps Steelworkers’ families see the positive change USW invests in.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: posters advertising meal service, groceries for meal, USW-branded aprons/bandanas for serving, pizza party for member hang-out after meal service.

Online Speaker Series for Teens

Introducing young people to the labour movement and its gains helps us identify and educate the next generation of union activists. 

Host a speaker series or day-long panelist-led workshop geared towards a teen audience on topics related to workers’ rights, social justice and solidarity. Put a call out for speakers to your membership and labour networks and to Steelworkers in your local for youth participants. Contact your District Education Co-ordinator for suggestions on designing engaging, participatory sessions.

Discussion topics could include motivation and self-esteem, a skill-building certificate-granting session (e.g. on WHMIS), careers in the trades, choosing a unionized versus non-unionized workplace, advocating for your rights, healthy eating/cooking, exercise and physical wellness, applying to college and/or university and finding and writing scholarship applications. Consider giving out prizes throughout the sessions for those who are particularly engaged, showing strong teamwork, etc.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: speaker fees, advertising, activity materials, prizes and USW-branded swag like cellphone popsockets, video conferencing membership/usage fees.

Community Sledding Day

Embrace the cold weather with a family-friendly community sledding day!

Head to a local hill for sledding and tubing and rent toboggans for Steelworker families and community members to enjoy. Bring along a caterer so everyone can share a meal together. Ensure you’ve got a variety of options for those with dietary restrictions and that your caterer meets the standards of your local Public Health authority.

Depending on the location where you’re hosting your event, lead trail hikes and kids’ programming. Make sure you know in advance if paths are wide enough to support strollers, mobility devices and walkers who are less steady on their feet. If it’s the right season and they’re on offer at your outdoor venue, you can also secure sleigh rides and participant visits to a maple syrup sugar shack.

As participants are eating, have executives and committee members speak about the various initiatives your local supports in the community and the work of USW more broadly. Add a quiz or scavenger hunt component to teach attendees about labour issues and increase their union vocabulary.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: social gathering permit, caterer, sugar shack/facility rental, toboggan rentals, microphone and speakers rental, USW-branded swag like temporary tattoos, advertising, volunteers.

Worker Support Webinar Series

Even in the best of times, workers can feel isolated from one another. This particularly impacts injured workers, who may no longer be in close contact with their workplaces and union siblings. An effective way to reach out to and support injured workers is through an online webinar series.

Hire a facilitator to coordinate weekly or twice-monthly online gatherings using your preferred video conferencing tool, e.g. Zoom. Consider partnering with nearby USW locals so their members can also benefit. Those on short and long-term disability should also be encouraged to join.

For each gathering, identify a key topic and guest speaker on issues of interest to injured workers. Have the speaker lead an interactive presentation and roundtable discussion.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: advertising, facilitator fee, video conferencing membership, speakers’ honoraria, USW-branded swag like mouse pads & shipping to injured workers.

Language Classes

Language classes are a popular programming option for local unions.

Learning or strengthening our skills in another language helps us to communicate with others, expands our union’s talents and deepens our solidarity with workers at home and across the world.

To host your own language class, encourage your local’s members to register. Reserve spots for young Steelworkers and for members’ families, friends and neighbours – this will meet the Fund’s themes and give you more people to practice with.

Encourage your course instructor to include union-specific vocabulary on topics like workers’ rights and health and safety in their classes. Purchase course workbooks for your members, and to cut down on costs, consider buying digital copies so that more people can participate. Once everyone has finished the course, provide them with certificates of completion!

Because it can be difficult to remember what you’ve learned, run drop-in conversation circles at your local union hall (or online) so that members can keep practicing their new language skills. Open these circles up to all Steelworkers at your local so that those who didn’t participate in the classes but who are interested in learning or practicing the language can join in on the fun.

Suggested resources and costs to run this event: course instructor fee, course books, advertising (radio/newspaper/posters), facility rental OR video conferencing technology rental or usage costs, certificate of completion printing.