Women Labour Activists Demand Transformative Agenda in Geneva

More than 200 trade union women, including a delegation of Steelworkers, traveled from their 60 home countries to Geneva, Switzerland, last fall for IndustriALL Global Union’s World Women’s Conference.

Click here for a full report

Pictured: USW Director of State and Regulatory Policy Anna Fendley, District 11 Assistant to the Director Cathy Drummond, District 1 Assistant to the Director Teresa Hartley, and District 3 Education Coordinator Dayna Sykes.

During the conference, the participants took stock of the situation of gender equality in our unions and explored how to transform trade union structures, cultures and practices. 

Participants recognised that this transformation is necessary not only to fight against gender inequality, but much more fundamentally to ensure the survival of our organizations in a rapidly changing world of work. 

Recommendations that came out of the conference lay the foundations for a broader transformation of our unions towards more democracy, equality, inclusion and diversity.

“Ideally, we would have spaces in our unions where everyone’s opinion is valued and where there is a real willingness and openness to learn from each other,” said the USW’s Anna Fendley.

Attendees unanimously passed a resolution demanding radical changes to the way their unions operate to ensure women’s equal representation, participation and leadership.

Click here to read that resolution.

ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment at Work

The conference participants also endorsed a resolution calling on the IndustriALL Executive Committee to support the joint global union campaign to promote the implementation and ratification of the new ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment at work.

Violence and harassment in the world of work can happen everywhere – online, in the physical workplace, during the commute, where workers rest, eat or attend to their health and sanitation needs, as well as at social gatherings.

Why is C190 important?

  • Violence and harassment in the world of work cannot be tolerated
  • This is the first international standard that aims to put an end to violence and harssment in the world of work
  • It recognizes that everyone has the right to a world of work free from violence and harassment
  • The Convention will cover existing gaps in national legislation

C190 provides a momentum for trade unions and other stakeholders to fight violence and harassment in the world of work. Unions have an important role to play to make sure the Convention becomes part of national laws.

To learn more about the campaign to #RATIFYC190, click here.

Press Inquiries

Thank You

Thank you for contacting us. We will try to get back to you in a timely manner.

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Shannon Devine
416-544-5946 or

Communications Department:
Nicole Desnoyers

Communications Department - Québec
Clairandrée Cauchy

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
234 Eglinton Ave. E., 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4P 1K7