Changes Announced to SOAR Executive Board

Harry-HyndHarry Hynd Appointed SOAR Vice President, Emeritus

In April, Int’l President Leo W. Gerard honoured SOAR Vice President Harry Hynd for his considerable contribution to the growth of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees, and to the many years of service to our union, by appointing him to the position of SOAR Vice President, Emeritus.

Harry’s union career began in 1951, in the Scottish coal mines with his early membership in the National Union of Mineworkers where he was a steward.  He immigrated to Canada in 1957.  In 1958 he was hired on at Stelco in Hamilton where he became an active member of Local 1005 as plant grievance chairperson.

Harry has a wide range of experience in the labor movement.  He joined the Steelworker staff in 1971 where he served members in Hamilton, Vancouver, the Niagara Peninsula and Toronto.  

Throughout his career in the labor movement, education was always a priority for Harry. He was an instructor in the Steelworkers’ education program for many years, served on the Mohawk College Board of Governors, and was a member of the Ontario Federation of Labour's (OFL) Education Committee. He was the Education Coordinator for the Steelworkers’ District 6 for six years prior to his appointment to Director. As a retiree, Harry was often called on to teach, passing his skills on to another generation of Steelworkers. 

Harry served as the Assistant to then-District 6 Director, Leo Gerard, and became the District 6 Director in 1991 when Leo became Canadian National Director. 

Harry’s reputation was always as a skilled negotiator and troubleshooter, skills that added to his leadership throughout his years as director. Following his 1991 appointment, he was elected to a full term in 1993 and again in 1997. He retired at the end of that term in March 2002.

In 2005, USW International President Leo W. Gerard appointed him SOAR Vice President, to fill the vacancy created when Ken O’Neal stepped down due to health concerns. Harry was then elected SOAR Vice President at the following International SOAR Conference and subsequent elections thereafter.

Harry and his wife, Margaret, are both active in the New Democratic Party. They reside in Hamilton, Ontario and have two daughters and three granddaughters.

Doug-MPDoug MacPherson Appointed SOAR Vice President

In June, Doug MacPherson was appointed by International President Leo W. Gerard to fill the vacancy of SOAR Vice President created by the appointment of Harry Hynd to SOAR Vice President, Emeritus.

Doug was born in Perth, Scotland and immigrated to Canada in 1965. Doug began his union career in Scotland as a member of the Plumbers Union, and attended his first union education, when he was 18 years old, at a Trades Union Congress (TUC) school, held at the ancestral home of Sydney and Beatrice Webb, founding members of the Fabian society, fore runner of the British Labour Party. 

Doug joined the Steelworkers in 1968 when he hired on at Stelco, Parkdale Works, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, USW Local 5328, where he quickly became active in the union’s affairs. Elected as steward, mechanical department chief steward, trustee, negotiation committee member, and ultimately president of the local.  Doug was the first president to be elected from the mechanical department in the local’s history. He also served as secretary of the Hamilton Steelworkers Area Council for a number of years.

Graduating from the Labour Studies Program of Hamilton’s McMaster University in 1982, Doug was appointed to the USW staff in 1985 and assigned to the Peel-Halton office of the union. In 1989 he was appointed by then-District Director Leo Gerard, as Area Coordinator for the same area. In 1991 Doug was transferred to the District 6 office to be the assistant to District Director Harry Hynd where he served until December 2000.

In January 2001 Doug moved to the Canadian National office as assistant to then-National Director Lawrence McBrearty, and in September of that year was seconded by the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress, (CSTEC) to be Executive Director. CSTEC is a joint labour management sector council, monitoring steel trade and providing education, training to the Canadian steel industry.

Returning to the National office, and upon the retirement of Rod Bezo, Canadian SOAR Coordinator, Doug was appointed to fill that position to work on increasing the membership of SOAR. Doug was elected to fill the position of District 6 SOAR Board member on the resignation of Dan McNeil, emeritus member, and had been re-elected at subsequent SOAR conventions.

Doug and his wife, Una, reside in Burlington, Ontario and have two surviving children and five grandchildren.

Doug will continue to serve the Canadian National office in his role as the Canadian National SOAR Coordinator. 

Lena-SLena Sutton Appointed to SOAR Executive Board

In June, International President Leo W. Gerard appointed Lena Sutton District 6 SOAR Executive Board Member to fulfill the remaining term of office vacated by Doug MacPherson.

Lena began her union career in 1974 when she hired into the office of a phosphorus plant, ERCO Industries, in her hometown of Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador; and became an active member of USW Local 7711, which represented the office and technical workers. 

Lena became a shop steward for the office workers, and it is also where she first witnessed the injustice of worker rights in the workplace. Lena was elected recording secretary and also served as chair of the health and safety committee while continuing her role as steward. In 1988, she was elected to the local’s bargaining committee in contract negotiations. 

Lena’s workplace closed in 1989, a casualty of the NAFTA Free Trade agreement, and she found employment with Newfoundland Telephone.  After her probationary period, Lena got involved with Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada – CEP Local 410, serving on the balloting committee and a delegate to the local Labor Council of which she became Recording Secretary. 

Lena then moved to Ontario in 1993 and became actively involved with the unions in her various workplaces, such as RWSteel.  Through her union involvement, she spent a lot of time working in the New Democratic Party election campaigns, including the Obama election in 2008.

Lena then became a member of SOAR Chapter 10 in 2003, serving as Recording Secretary, Vice President and currently as President, since 2006.   

She is a member of the Hamilton Steelworkers Area Council, a member of Women of Steel, special events committee and a USW delegate to the Hamilton Labour Council. Lena is also a member of the District 6 PAC.

Lena received the Lynn Williams Award in 2016 and the USW Jefferson Award in 2017. In 2018, she was elected to the National Executive of the Canadian Congress of Union Retirees.

Lena and her husband Bob reside in Hamilton, Ontario, with their dog Kasey. They enjoy spending time with Bob’s three adult children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  

On behalf of SOAR, we congratulate each of them on their newly appointed positions; and, we welcome Lena to the SOAR Executive Board and look forward to working with them as we continue our mission to protect and enhance the quality of life for retirees and working families.

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