Wishing you a happy end of 2019 and thank you


I’m writing to wish you a happy end of the year. With a little over a week left of 2019, I am reaching out to thank you for your efforts in building our union this year.

From local union barbeques and anniversary events to rallies and picket lines, tens of thousands of USW members have worked tirelessly to make our union stronger. I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. We fought for an end to unfair steel and aluminum tariffs, we took on corporate giants like ABI, Glencore and Western Forest Products with determination and grit and we pushed the federal government on NAFTA/USMCA.

We also brought together more than 600 local union leaders, staff and rank and file activists for our National Policy Conference in Vancouver in April, which was a great success. There was the federal election, where hundreds of USW members engaged in local campaigns and Steelworkers Vote schools.

As a union, we supported members who were out on strike or locked out by bullish employers. To be sure, we lost members due to layoffs and workplace closures, which is painful and a terrible tragedy for our union and communities. But we have also gained thousands of new members, who made the courageous choice to stand up for the rights and join USW. This is a great source of optimism and renewal.

At the international level, our union underwent important leadership changes with the retirement of our mentors and friends Leo W. Gerard and Carol Landry and a number of others. Thank to you everyone who attended the very special tribute event in October. Our International President Tom Conway is off to an exciting start and I am looking forward to continuing to work together. 

It has been a busy year, but a gratifying one. Next year promises more excitement, with a steel sector conference and lobby in Ottawa, the Canadian Labour Congress Convention in Vancouver (both in May), the USW International Convention in Las Vegas in August and our Justice Conference (Health, Safety, Environment and Human Rights) in Montreal and much more. We’ll have many opportunities to meet, exchange ideas and build our union now and for the future.

Over the next week, I hope that you’ll have the opportunity for time off with loved ones. On behalf of USW members across the country and with the Directors of District 3, 5 and 6, I wish you a happy end of the year and a great beginning of 2020. I’m looking forward to this upcoming year.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director

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