Ken Neumann Statement for Black History Month

In our union’s proud history of promoting and supporting equality, Steelworkers celebrate Black History Month each February. 

During Black History Month, Steelworkers celebrate the accomplishments of Black Canadian people in society, acknowledge the achievements of activists in our union and encourage Steelworkers to continue the struggle for equality. We recognize that despite advances in equality, racism has played a historic part in our national experience.

Since the murder of George Floyd in the U.S. in May last year, there has been international mobilization against racism and anti-Black racism. In recognition of this activism, Steelworkers have created the USW National Anti-Racism Working Group. Drawn from membership and staff selected by each district, the National Anti-Racism Working Group will consult with and help our union develop initiatives against racism in all its forms. The National Anti-Racism Working Group will begin its work in 2021. 

In support and celebration of Black History Month, Steelworkers can become activists and allies by:   

  • Joining the New Democratic Party, whether federally or provincially, to contribute to the elimination of racial discrimination
  • Creating a Human Rights Committee in your local or unit by using the mandate in the USW Constitution’s Article VII, Section 12
  • Working with organizations such as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)
  • Standing up and speaking out on your own against racist behaviour and comments in our communities and workplaces 

The principles of equality are essential to Steelworkers solidarity in our workplaces and social justice in our communities. I ask all Steelworkers to join me in celebrating Black History Month this February. Beyond that, I urge you to always continue the fight for equality.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director

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