Diversity and inclusion

We are a diverse union that proudly represents working people in nearly every industry and in every job imaginable.

We work in call centres and credit unions, mines and manufacturing plants, railyards, offices and oil refineries, restaurants and rubber plants, sawmills and steel mills and security companies. We work in nursing homes, legal clinics, social agencies and universities.

We slurry and smelt aluminum. We mine for iron ore and create cement. We make glass and metals of many kinds. We produce paper and paper products. And we craft energy-saving wind turbines that help save our earth.

We’re nurses and personal support workers. We make snacks and cookware and dinnerware. We’re rubber workers who make your tires; metal workers who make the materials that go into buildings, homes, automobiles, planes and roads.

We serve you at banks and teach at universities. You’ll find us in oil refineries and grocery stores. At utility companies and in chemical plants. We work in the public sector and in the forests. We drive taxicabs and school buses and work in airports. We’re security guards and electricians. We’re miners and pharmaceutical workers. We work in all these places and so many more.

The benefits of unity

Dues give the union the power to protect and advance members’ rights on many fronts, today and in the future. Your dues give you a real say in your workplace, along with the right to bargain for better job security, higher wages, a healthy and safe job, a good pension and other benefits.

Union dues fund the daily operations of local unions and the services from the USW centrally that support our locals. Dues provide bargaining and pension expertise, education programs, health and safety services, workers’ compensation assistance, grievance representation, research and legal expertise, and support a $500-million strike and lockout defense fund.

Union dues are a very small percentage of total earnings. Dues are tax-deductible and dues are not paid if you are off work due to layoff, injury, sickness or leave.

Steelworkers believe in financial accountability.

Union accounts are audited regularly by professionals. The international audit is a public report delivered to all local unions for every member to access. Union dues are collected and banked in Canadian financial institutions under the authority of Canadian union directors. Our directors are accountable to the membership and elected in a “one member, one secret ballot” process every four years. This level of accountability is unique among unions in Canada.

The USW dues formula is 1.45% of gross pay and 2 cents per hour worked.

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Union democracy

Steelworkers are strong believers in democracy.

Our organization is run by our members. It is regular members who decide to fight to improve our wages, benefits and working conditions; to ensure justice and dignity on the job and to create a social movement to better the lives of all working people.

Steelworkers believe in “one member, one vote.” Each individual member elects their local, district, national and international leaders. Members elect their union local leaders every three years and district, national and international directors every four years.

Members of the USW make decisions about the union’s policies, direction and programs at several levels – at the Canadian USW National Policy Conference and at the USW International Convention, each held on a three-year cycle. Each local union elects delegates to send to conferences and conventions.

Other unions elect their leaders by a small number of delegates at a convention. That every member has a vote is unique, making the United Steelworkers one of the world’s most democratic unions.

Members of the USW make decisions about the union’s policies, direction and programs at several levels – at the Canadian USW National Policy Conference and at the USW International Convention, each held on a three-year cycle. Each local union elects delegates to send to conferences and conventions.

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) is a registered Canadian Charity funded by USW member contributions. For more than 25 years, the SHF has supported international development projects, provided emergency humanitarian aid for disasters around the world, supported food banks across Canada and offered an education program for Steelworker members.

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