Ken Neumann and Marty Warren statement for Black History Month

Black History Month 2022

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 an historic part in our national experience.

At the end of 2021, we went through the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Currently across Canada, we are waiting for developments in public health regulations to determine how our communities and workplaces will adapt. Statistically, racialized people live in lower-income areas, are more dependent on public transit to get to and from work, and, form the backbone of services in transport, health care and retail. The combination of these factors mean that our racialized communities have absorbed far greater challenges than other groups.

Steelworkers have created the USW National Anti-Racism Working Group (NARWG). Drawn from membership and staff selected by each district, the NARWG will consult with and help our union develop initiatives against racism in all its forms. The first two events for the NARWG in 2022 will take place during Black History Month.

On Feb. 16, Steelworkers will be hosting the final session in the series “Solidarity in Hard Times” online conferences. As part of day, the NARWG will be introducing themselves and what they hope to accomplish.

In addition, we will be launching the “Building Inclusive Locals” series over the next few months. This series focuses on practical ways our union can do more in addressing issues of equality in our locals and communities. During Black History Month, two members of the NARWG will be co-hosting two sessions on the same topic. Each session will have a prominent Black Canadian trade unionist as a featured speaker. There are two opportunities to join.

  • Wednesday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m. Pacific (8:30 p.m. Eastern); English only. Click here to register
  • Thursday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern (4:30 p.m. Pacific); French-English translation provided. Click here to register 

The principles of equality are essential to Steelworker 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.

Ken Neumann, USW National Director
Marty Warren, USW National Director-elect

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