Equity in Hard Times

Statement by USW National Director Ken Neumann


“Solidarity Forever” is a core principle of the United Steelworkers.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is a principle we need to remember and count on more than ever.

It is a powerful principle because it recognizes that an injury to one is an injury to all and sets the stage for understanding that human rights are workers’ rights. 

During this time, we must embody Solidarity Forever by including ALL in our recognition of harm.

Think of all those infected or affected by this deadly virus.

Think of those who have lost their jobs and incomes.

Think of the targets of domestic violence, who may be living in quarantine or self-isolation with their abuser.

Think of those with mental health injuries, who have the added stress and uncertainty of the pandemic and restricted access to drop-in and support services.

Think of newcomer workers, racialized workers, Indigenous workers, who draw strength from community in dealing with racism, and who now cannot gather together. And think especially of workers of Asian heritage who are unjustly blamed and attacked because of the part of the world where the coronavirus first claimed lives.

Think of workers living with disabilities, who have fought hard to enter or return to the workplace and now face uncertainty as well as added challenges from service closures.

Think of LGBTQ2SIA+ workers and youth, who draw strength and find safety by gathering together and who now cannot.

Think of all the workers, who are worried about today’s bills and their economic security in the future, including those without a union and without full-time or full-year jobs.

Think of workers around the world, especially in countries with fragile health-care systems, high rates of poverty and unemployment, and war.

Steelworkers are promising to ALL those impacted, that the United Steelworkers union is with you in thought, spirit and action. Know that your struggles are our union’s struggles and they shape the way that the USW responds each day to the global pandemic.

We are stronger together.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
USW National Director


USW information and updates during COVID-19: www.usw.ca/covid19

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