·  USW@Work magazine, Spring 2022

Director Message: Taking on this challenge, together: Strong as Steel

This article appears in the Spring 2022 edition of USW@Work magazine

A bearded man wearing glasses and a black shirt and tie, addresses an off-camera crowd from a podium.It is with great excitement, honour and a sense of optimism that I am stepping into the role of National Director for Canada. With all that I have experienced in my nine years serving as District 6 Director, the knowledge I gained and through the many members I have come to know, my time has prepared me to take on this new role.

As a district director, I always surrounded myself with activists who were passionate and energetic about creating a better future for workers and that continues to this day.

Leadership is the challenge of bringing ideas together, respecting each other’s differences and making decisions that build solidarity and encourage and support our current and future activists. Sometimes in our movement, aggressive and divisive leadership can be seen as strength and power, but it doesn’t accomplish growth or long-term change for our members or union. After all, it is not just about news clips or sound bites, it is truly about inspiring our members, providing hope and together, creating our future.

Life brings challenges on the job, personal challenges, along with many opportunities. It is what you do with those challenges and opportunities that defines you as a person, an activist, a mentor and a leader.

In this new role, I am committed to fighting for members’ jobs, fairer trade, safer workplaces, putting workers’ interests at the centre of the climate change crisis, building decent work right across the country and championing equity on all fronts.

I am looking forward to working closely with district directors Scott Lunny in District 3, Dominic Lemieux in District 5 and Myles Sullivan in District 6, who are all very well-positioned to lead now and in the future. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to former National Director Ken Neumann for his friendship and years of leadership.

Ken also values leadership renewal in our union and has been tremendously supportive of not only me, but the other new district directors.

To Steelworkers across Canada, thank you for putting your trust in me. For those who I have not yet met, I look forward
to meeting you at one of our many upcoming events, at a demonstration or if need be, on a picket line.

As Steelworkers, our solidarity is our strength.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
USW National Director

P.S., Like other USW leaders, I am a proud New Democrat. I congratulate NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for his leadership, landing big gains for workers in the historic confidence-and-supply agreement including a commitment to anti-scab legislation and pharmacare. In order for this deal to work, the NDP will have to keep pressure on the Liberal government to deliver.

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