United Steelworkers Canada News Feed http://www.uswca.org/news/media-centre/articles/rss United Steelworkers Canada News Feed Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:00 -0500 AMPS en hourly 1 Director Warren: Take action on the racist attack in east Toronto https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/director-warren-take-action-on-the-racist-attack-in-east-toronto Fri, 03 Jul 2020 16:53:47 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/director-warren-take-action-on-the-racist-attack-in-east-toronto

Below is text of the open letter USW Ontario Director Marty Warren has written to Toronto Mayor John Tory, Toronto Ward 19 City Councillor Brad Bradford and the Toronto Police Services Board in response to a racist attack that happened to Mark Austin, a member of the United Steelworkers Local 1998, and his partner Candace Zinkweg.

Download the PDF

Dear Mayor John Tory, Councillor Brad Bradford and the Toronto Police Services Board, 

I am writing to express my concern about the experience of racism and violence experienced by a member of United Steelworkers Local 1998, Mark Austin. Mark is a Black man, a trade unionist, a father, a community member of Beaches-East York and works at the University of Toronto.

On the morning of June 25, he and his partner Candace Zinkweg were brutally assaulted by two white men, while walking their dog at Dentonia Park, near Victoria Park Avenue and Danforth Avenue.

Mark was violently assaulted and repeatedly subjected to racist abuse. Candace had her cell phone stolen, was knocked to the ground and then kicked in the head by the two men. She lost consciousness, suffered a serious concussion and was transported by ambulance to the hospital when EMS finally arrived.

Despite an early call to 911, the police and EMS were both slow to arrive on the scene. When the police did arrive, none of the four officers sought out a statement from the victim and failed to interview any witnesses at the park, despite a number of families who saw the sequence of events unfold.

When questioned about why they had not laid charges on the assailants, the police responded that it was a “he said, she said” scenario. This in effect, criminalizes Mark and Candace for their own assaults and the racism that Mark endured. Candace was diagnosed with a concussion at the hospital and is still experiencing serious side effects from the blows to the head.

During the attack, the one man repeatedly made death threats against Mark, saying he would shoot him the next time he saw him. Mark has reported this to the police, with still no action being taken.

The assailants live in the same building as Mark and Candace, and they have continued their threats with impunity because the police have taken no action.

I am writing on behalf of the United Steelworkers union, where Mark proudly serves as the Recording Secretary of Local 1998 at the University of Toronto, to call for immediate action to:

  1. Investigate this case and press charges against the assailants.
  2. Recognize the racial profiling that happened in this incident wherein Mark was assumed equally guilty as the attacker.
  3. Develop, with input from community, a robust and public plan for addressing racism within the Toronto Police Service and the prevalence of racism around the city. Efforts to date have fallen far short.

At a time where there is increased scrutiny on police forces across North America and on systemic racism within government and society at large, it is urgently necessary that the Toronto Police Services Board take every measure possible to address the on-going racist treatment of Torontonians, particularly Black residents.

I am also calling on Toronto City Council to lead the way for the country in tackling racism within the city. We know this is not an isolated incident and we need leadership from government now. Inaction is emboldening racism and racist violence and doing nothing is tantamount to complicity.

Mark Austin and Candace Zinkweg have the full support of our union, which represents some 850,000 workers across North America. I would like to set up a meeting for the United Steelworkers union with the City of Toronto and the representatives of the TPS Board to hear from you on how this situation will not only be addressed now, but prevented in the future.


Marty Warren

Ontario Director - United Steelworkers

CC: Rima Berns-McGown, MPP Beaches-East York; Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP Beaches-East York

USW Social Media Comment Policy: Let's talk, respectfully https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/usw-social-media-comment-policy Tue, 30 Jun 2020 15:48:34 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/usw-social-media-comment-policy

Let's talk, respectfully

Our union was founded in 1942 with a sacred principle that still guides us today: all are welcome. The more voices, the better! The more of us that stick together, the stronger we are. With that being said, we wanted to remind everyone of our official USW comment policy for our FacebookInstagram, Twitter and YouTube pages.

We encourage open discussion about issues important to our members, their families and all of the world’s working people. We respectfully ask everyone to honour the following guidelines when commenting. Comments that do not follow the guidelines will be removed. Repeated failure to follow the guidelines could result in followers being banned from our pages. We're all family - so even if we disagree - let's do it with love and open minds!

USW Social Media Comment Policy

  • No foul, discriminatory, defamatory, libelous or threatening language.
  • No invasion of privacy; no racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable language.
  • Do not post material in violation of trademark or copyright laws or other laws.
  • Comments should be relevant to the post. If you have unrelated questions or comments, please send a private message to our pages or contact us at newmedia@usw.ca
  • No attacks that identify individuals, companies, unions or other organizations.
  • No spam, flaming, flooding, advertisements or solicitations.

Amazonian communities at risk: documenting the harsh reality of the Kukama People of Peru in the context of COVID-19 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/amazonian-communities-at-risk-documenting-the-harsh-reality-of-the-kukama-people-of-peru-in-the-context-of-covid-19 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 14:10:55 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/amazonian-communities-at-risk-documenting-the-harsh-reality-of-the-kukama-people-of-peru-in-the-context-of-covid-19 In May, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund has contributed close to $38,000 to five organizations to address the emergency needs of workers and communities to help overcome some of the most-pressing challenges of the COVID-19 around the world.

In Peru, the SHF partnered with Asociación Quisca to provide resources to community radio station Radio Ucamara. Funds were used to broadcast public health information on COVID-19 in the Peruvian Amazon, and to set up a network of correspondents in a dozen isolated communities. By sending in reports, photos and videos on their cellphones, those frontline reporters were able to document the dire situation of the Indigenous peoples throughout the crisis.

The result is a very impactful short film directed by Leonardo Tello, Kukama filmmaker and Director of Radio Ucamara, called “Two Demons.” Exposing and denouncing the harsh realities of communities that have historically suffered from state abandonment, the film received widespread coverage in Peru.

Today, Peru is in second place in Latin America for the number of new COVID cases, and the Amazon region is still in a state of emergency. Asociación Quisca is currently working with Radio Ucamara on another film, documenting the government’s failure to respect intercultural health.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Extended by Eight Weeks https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/canada-emergency-response-benefit-extended-by-eight-weeks Tue, 23 Jun 2020 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/canada-emergency-response-benefit-extended-by-eight-weeks The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been extended by eight weeks, from 16 to 24 weeks.

The federal government has announced the extension of the CERB for workers who:

  • stopped working due to COVID-19 or
  • are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or
  • have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between Dec. 29, 2019 and Oct. 3, 2020.

Over the next few weeks, the government will examine “international best practices” to determine any further changes that will be needed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

More information on the application criteria for the CERB.

Steelworkers and Mosaic Forest Management Reach Landmark Agreements https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/steelworkers-and-mosaic-forest-management-reach-landmark-agreements Mon, 22 Jun 2020 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/steelworkers-and-mosaic-forest-management-reach-landmark-agreements CROFTON, B.C. – United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 and Mosaic Forest Management have reached agreements-in-principle that will bring increased collaboration, flexibility and certainty for workers and the company across its South Island and Northwest Bay operations.

The agreements-in-principle include unionization of Mosaic’s two shipping facilities at the South Island Logistics Facility in Crofton and Island Terminals at Duke Point, Nanaimo.

The agreements-in-principle, which are still subject to finalizing definitive agreements, USW member ratification and corporate approvals, will also deliver improved job opportunities and long-term security for USW members; better operational flexibility relating to the movement of contractors, equipment and logs across Mosaic’s South Island operations and certainty for USW members and Mosaic through a renewed collective agreement at the Northwest Bay Operation near Nanoose Bay which will run until 2025.

Full story on cowichanvalleycitizen.com

The Jury Is In: Unconstitutional Attacks on Workers’ Rights Must End https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/the-jury-is-in-unconstitutional-attacks-on-workers-rights-must-end Tue, 16 Jun 2020 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/the-jury-is-in-unconstitutional-attacks-on-workers-rights-must-end “The latest court ruling condemning ‘draconian’ violations of Canadians’ constitutional rights and freedoms must finally signal the end of government attacks on workers’ collective bargaining rights everywhere in our country,” says Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

“Over many years, our nation’s courts – including the Supreme Court of Canada – have repeatedly struck down legislative efforts by Liberal and Conservative governments to suppress the fundamental rights of Canadians to freedom of association and meaningful collective bargaining,” Neumann said.

“Not surprisingly, the attempt by Manitoba’s Conservative government to impose such legislation on public-sector workers has been struck down by the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench as ‘a draconian measure’ that violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

The USW is a member of the Partnership to Defend Public Services, representing more than 110,000 workers, that successfully challenged the Manitoba government’s unconstitutional legislation, leading to the June 11 court ruling.

“The Steelworkers union is proud to be part of this important victory for the rights and freedoms of all workers and for our democracy,” said Stephen Hunt, the USW’s Western Canada Director.

“Our union will continue to fight these bad, unconstitutional laws that infringe on workers’ basic rights. Protecting the right to collective bargaining is crucial to defending good jobs and improving the working and living standards of all Canadians,” Hunt said.

The USW also is among more than 40 unions, representing 270,000 workers across Ontario, that have filed a constitutional challenge to Bill 124 – anti-worker legislation imposed by Doug Ford’s Conservative government.

“Bill 124 clearly violates collective bargaining rights and freedom of association that are guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

“The Manitoba court ruling – and all the previous rulings that have upheld these fundamental rights – send a clear message to the Ford government that it should immediately repeal its own unconstitutional legislation,” Warren said.

The latest court ruling should prompt governments to change course and collaborate with the labour movement on a post-pandemic economic recovery program, said USW Quebec Director Dominic Lemieux.

“An anti-union attack is an attack on all unions. This legal victory is a victory for all workers,” Lemieux said. “Governments must stop their anti-union attacks and instead work with labour organizations on measures to revive the economy.”

Steelworkers Humanity Fund Special COVID-19 Update: June 2020 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/steelworkers-humanity-fund-special-covid-19-update-june-2020 Mon, 15 Jun 2020 16:42:47 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/steelworkers-humanity-fund-special-covid-19-update-june-2020

This June edition focusses on the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity (BCWS).

As the world reels from the impacts of COVID-19, workers and communities are affected differently in their local contexts. Over the course of the summer, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) Updates will report on the experiences of our partner organizations in Asia, Latin America and Africa, as they respond to this evolving crisis.



Director Warren to Solicitor General: Take Action and Ensure Fairness for Security Guards https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/take-action-and-ensure-fairness-for-security-guards Mon, 15 Jun 2020 11:19:21 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/take-action-and-ensure-fairness-for-security-guards Below is text of the open letter USW Ontario Director Marty Warren has written to Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

Download the PDF

Dear Solicitor General Jones,

I am writing to you to urge you to take action and ensure fairness for a group of workers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight in Ontario: security guards.

The United Steelworkers union represents thousands of security guards across Ontario. These workers are on the front lines, protecting and interacting with the public and working alongside other frontline heroes. Security guards have been essential workers on the front lines from the beginning of the pandemic.

Our members have been key participants in keeping our essential services safe. Security guards work at hospitals, grocery stores, long-term care facilities and pharmacies, among other places – where there is increased risk of contracting the deadly virus through close contact with the public, contact with other at-risk frontline workers and at times hazardous, physical interactions.

Yet, as you are aware, security guards have been ignored and overlooked when it comes to receiving the $4 per hour pandemic pay premium. These relatively low-paid workers are currently not eligible to receive pandemic pay, even though they are on the front lines.

I respectfully encourage you and your government to expand the eligibility criteria to rectify this unfair situation and to authorize payment to security guards, retroactive to the start of the State of Emergency, of the $4 per hour wage top-up, as well as the monthly lump-sum payments.

The pandemic premium was announced on April 25, 2020. Many frontline workers are still waiting for their premium pay, almost two months later.

Our security guard members are waiting too. Waiting to be included. Waiting to be recognized as frontline heroes. Waiting for a $4 pay premium that they, too, deserve.

I wrote to Premier Ford on this issue back in May. Sudbury MPP Jamie West has written to you on the issue of pandemic pay premiums for security guards.

Another issue I would like to mention is the need for online testing and certification of security guards. MPP Kevin Yarde has spoken in the legislature about this. Online certification is a solution to address the shortage of licensed security guards in Ontario, a shortage that will be compounded as our province reopens.

As I wrote to the Premier, I trust that the lack of recognition for security guards is an oversight and that you will agree it is unjust to exclude these frontline workers from the province’s pandemic pay initiative.

On behalf of the members of my union and their families across our great province, I thank you in advance for your consideration. Please take action to support security workers who provide such a vital service to all Ontarians.

Yours sincerely,

Marty Warren
Ontario Director
United Steelworkers

c.c. Jamie West, MPP Sudbury; Kevin Yarde, MPP Brampton North

We Must Keep Indigenous Issues on Political Agenda: Ken Neumann’s Statement for June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/we-must-keep-indigenous-issues-on-political-agenda-ken-neumanns-statement-for-june-21-national-indigenous-peoples-day Mon, 15 Jun 2020 09:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/we-must-keep-indigenous-issues-on-political-agenda-ken-neumanns-statement-for-june-21-national-indigenous-peoples-day 2020 has been a momentous year on the part of Turtle Island we call Canada.

It began with open conflict on Wet’suwet’en land that raised important issues of land sovereignty and traditional forms of leadership.

And then came COVID-19. The pandemic has renewed concerns about sub-standard health services in many Indigenous communities and race-based barriers to health care. It’s also the reason given for a delay in the federal government’s plan to implement recommendations from the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. And within the USW, the pandemic resulted in the postponement of the National Gathering for Indigenous Steelworkers.   

Let’s mark June 21, National Indigenous People’s Day, by committing to keep issues of key concern to Indigenous peoples at the top of Canada’s political agenda during and after the pandemic. Since early March, look what Canadians have accomplished when we pull together to address a critical problem like COVID-19. Imagine what we could do if we directed that kind of energy to undoing the harm of colonialism. The work of reconciliation has just started.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
USW National Director 

Help Save Child Care and Early Learning https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/help-save-child-care-and-early-learning Wed, 10 Jun 2020 09:47:08 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/help-save-child-care-and-early-learning Endorse the Plan to Save Child Care from COVID-19

In Canada, licensed and regulated child care is a fragile web of centres and home-based services. It’s precarious and inadequate at the best of times but the COVID-19 pandemic has it on the verge of collapse.

Most centres have closed and many of those employed in the sector have been laid off. As the pandemic continues, the risk of permanent shutdowns grows.

While COVID-19 has been ravaging the child care sector, it has illuminated the dangerous consequences of not having safe, quality services available to working parents. If licensed child care services collapse, the return to work as we move out of the pandemic will be impeded and economic recovery will be impossible.

Canada’s three national child care organizations have joined together to develop a plan to sustain early learning and child care through the pandemic. We call on the Government of Canada to put the plan into action.

The child care sector is asking us to sign on to their plan.

Steelworkers can help.

Please take action and sign on to show your support for the plan: Childcareforall.ca

Apply by June 30: Activist Initiates Family and Community Education Fund Project in Sudbury https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/apply-by-june-30-activist-initiates-family-and-community-education-fund-project-in-sudbury Mon, 08 Jun 2020 16:06:15 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/apply-by-june-30-activist-initiates-family-and-community-education-fund-project-in-sudbury The Family and Community Education Fund (FCEF) supported a Sudbury project that is an example of how the fund can help develop young leaders in the union while serving the local’s goals of greater community connection.

While this project started before the pandemic, think about how activists and future leaders in your local could initiate, apply and steer a pandemic project (with the local’s approval, of course).

First Aid Course for Members and the CommunityUSW Local 6500 members at the local’s booth for Sudbury’s Labour Day celebrations in 2019. Chris Banks (second from right), promoted a free first aid course for members and their families

Last June, before COVID-19, Chris Banks, a Steward with USW Local 6500 in Sudbury, had just returned from his first session in the Leadership Development Scholarship (LDS) program. He was casting around for a “good works” project to take on as part of his LDS commitment.

Chris talked to President Nick Larochelle and Vice-President Kevin Boyd and got the go-ahead to apply for FCEF funding to host a free first aid course.

Chris did the legwork on the FCEF application with the blessing of the local. A few weeks later, he had $15,000 in funding to carry out his idea: offer a free first aid course to USW members and their families.

The project would build connection with the rank-and-file membership, bring more members (and, it turns out, their families) into the Steelworkers Hall and connect with the broader community.

Chris promoted the free course at Labour Day events, through mailings and email blasts. Chris contacted a local service provider, LifeSaver 101, to run the course, and the full-day session ran in March, just before COVID-19 shut down all activities at the union hall.

The first aid course participants included USW members, but also some of the member’s parents and children.

“That was the most interesting part – meeting the family members,” said Chris.

Some grandparents took the course so they would feel more comfortable looking after their grandkids. And for teenagers, first aid certification is helpful for babysitting qualifications.

Thanks to the FCEF, Chris was able to provide first aid kits at no cost to all of the participants.

Chris intends to make the free course available again – once the pandemic restrictions are lifted and it’s safe to do so.

Tap into Leadership Development Participants

Do you have any Leadership Development Scholarship (LDS) participants in your local? Mention the Family and Community Education Fund to them. All LDS participants have to carry out “good works projects” as part of the program and the FCEF can fund their project if it meets one of the four criteria and includes an education component.

Challenge activists beyond the usual suspects on the executive to do the legwork.

Applicants get to determine the scope and timelines of the project when they apply. And the FCEF is flexible.

Dollars are available and so is help. Eric is ready to work with your members to develop a project to suit your local’s needs. Contact Eric at edelparte@usw.ca or by text or phone at 705-207-1691.

What Kind of Project can you Dream up?

Get more ideas for virtual projects here.

Apply by June 30

The Family and Community Education Fund is open to all USW locals and the application deadline is June 30.

Solidarity will get us through the pandemic!

Pandemic Exposes Urgent Need for Reforms for Workers, all Canadians: Ken Neumann https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/pandemic-exposes-urgent-need-for-reforms-for-workers-all-canadians-ken-neumann Mon, 08 Jun 2020 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/pandemic-exposes-urgent-need-for-reforms-for-workers-all-canadians-ken-neumann USW IN THE NEWS, 8 June 2020 – USW National Director Ken Neumann appears on Sauga 960 AM radio to advocate for critical issues for workers and all Canadians during the pandemic, including workplace health and safety, universal sick leave, entrenching long-term care into the Canada Health Act and re-building Canada’s manufacturing sector.

Listen to Ken Neumann’s interview on The Brian Crombie Hour on Sauga 960 AM radio.

USW Condemns Anti-Black Racism and Racist Violence https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/usw-condemns-anti-black-racism-and-racist-violence Fri, 05 Jun 2020 19:34:17 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/usw-condemns-anti-black-racism-and-racist-violence The United Steelworkers union in Canada condemns anti-Black racism in all its forms and the racist violence that has occurred on both sides of the border. Our union stands in solidarity with Black communities around the globe.

Black members, their families and communities are hurting. Here in Canada, systemic racism and violence continues to shape the lives of Black, Indigenous and people of colour – of every age.

We are outraged and heartbroken by the senseless murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The continuing police brutality against protesters in the U.S. must stop.

Here in Canada, we are angered and heartbroken by the recent tragic deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D'Andre Campbell and Chantel Moore during encounters with police in their homes in Toronto, Brampton and Edmundston, New Brunswick.

“Make no mistake, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism is systemic in Canada – it dates back hundreds of years and continues to influence every part of society – from the health care one receives at birth to schooling to access to employment to policing. It is very real and it is urgent that we work together to end it,” said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

“It is our responsibility as trade unionists to take on anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and to have an honest account of the ways that Black, Indigenous and communities of colour have been severely harmed by hundreds of years of racist policies that continue to this day,” said Marty Warren, District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada).

Racism undermines community, prevents young people from reaching their full potential and creates lasting trauma for those who experience racism and fear being the victims of racially motivated violence.

Black, Indigenous and communities of colour suffer disproportionately at the hands of police, through over-policing, the practices of carding, police in schools, over-incarceration and the use of excessive and deadly force during interactions.

“Our union is committed to working in partnership with Black, Indigenous and people of colour, including working towards stronger representation within our own union and workplaces,” said Dominic Lemieux, District 5 Director (Quebec).

While this is happening with the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it hard for us to gather to collectively fight for justice, we are in this struggle with Black, Indigenous and communities of colour for the long term.

“Our union is founded on the values of solidarity and fairness. That means we stand for equality and against hate. We are committed to fighting against anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and violence and racism in all of its forms,” said Stephen Hunt, District 3 Director (Western Canada).

As a union representing working people on both sides of the border, we stand for collective voice and collective action – in our workplaces and in our communities.

There are things we can do – as a union and as individual union members – to work to end racism.

Read the statement by the USW International Union’s Vice-President Fred Redmond and International President Tom Conway.

Things we can do to end racism:

  • Create a Human Rights Committee in your local or unit by using the mandate in the USW Constitution’s Article VII, Section 12.
  • Encourage your employer to commit to hiring more Black, Indigenous and people of colour
  • Work with and support organizations such as the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)
  • Stand up and speak out on your own against racist comments and jokes in our communities and workplaces
  • Be an ally to Black, Indigenous and workers of colour in your workplace
  • As a local union, contact your District Education Coordinator or the USW Education & Equality Department to find out how to hold online workshops on anti-racism
  • Learn more: Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Racism Resources
Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Racism Resources https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/anti-black-racism-and-anti-racism-resources Fri, 05 Jun 2020 14:59:22 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/anti-black-racism-and-anti-racism-resources The United Steelworkers union in Canada and the United States unequivocally condemns the racism and racist violence that has occurred in the last number of weeks on both sides of the border. 

Members, their families and their communities are hurting. Here in Canada, systemic racism continues to shape the lives of Black, Indigenous and people of colour of every age. 

As trade unionists, we cannot stay neutral – taking on racism and learning how to be stronger anti-racist advocates is both urgent and deeply necessary. Here is a Canadian resource guide. 

Read the USW's statement: USW Condemns Anti-Black Racism and Racist Violence


Grace-Edward Galabuzi
Unraveling the Interplay Between Diversity and Race in the Canadian Experience
LECTURE VIDEO – https://youtu.be/ijL_391Xw9g 

National Film Board of Canada
A series of videos and documentaries on anti-racism

Jill Andrew - MPP, Toronto-St.Paul's
Statement on anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Ontario


Desmond Cole
BLOG – https://thatsatruestory.wordpress.com 

Robin Maynard
It’s long-past time to talk about policing of Black women in Canada

Canadian Education is Steeped in Anti-Black Racism

Shree Paradkar
Don’t like what I write? Work on dismantling the racist structures that benefit you, and make my job redundant

‘What white privilege?’ ‘Why can’t you be more civil?’ Some FAQs about racism and answers you may find challenging

Olamide Olaniyan
An interview with Desmond Cole - ‘I Don’t Care if You’re Racist. I Care if You’re Hurting Me’

Sandy Hudson
Defunding The Police Will Save Black And Indigenous Lives In Canada

Pam Palmater
Yes, Canada Has a Racism Crisis and It’s Killing Black and Indigenous Peoples


A Fund for Black-led Mental Health Supports

Black Health Alliance

Black Legal Action Centre

Black Women in Motion

Nia Centre for the Arts Toronto

The GoFundMe for Regis’ family

The Come Up (Edmonton)

The GoFundMe for Toronto Protestors Bail Fund

Black Youth Helpline

Black Space Winnipeg

Unist'ot'en 2020 Legal Fund

Hogan’s Alley Society Vancouver

Black Lives Matter: Canadian Chapters
http://blacklivesmatter.ca – Toronto
https://www.facebook.com/blacklivesmattervancouver/ – Vancouver

Fight COVID-19 Racism


Desmond Cole
The Skin We’re In 

Robyn Maynard
Policing Black Lives 

Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson and Syrus Marcus Ware
Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada 

Grace-Edward Galabuzi
Canada’s Economic Apartheid: The Social Exclusion of Racialized Groups in the New Century 

Frances Henry and Carol Tator
Racial Profiling in Canada: Challenging the Myth of 'a Few Bad Apples' 

Idil Abdillahi and Rinaldo Walcott
BlackLife: Post-BLM and the Struggle for Freedom 

Rinaldo Walcott
Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies 

B. Denham Jolly
In the Black: My Life 

M. NourbeSe Philip
Blank: Essays and Interviews by M. NourbeSe Philip 

Ingrid R. G. Waldron
There’s Something In The Water

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund Takes the EMPOWER & ENACT Challenge https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/the-steelworkers-humanity-fund-takes-the-empower-enact-challenge Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:47:41 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/the-steelworkers-humanity-fund-takes-the-empower-enact-challenge The activities of Canadian corporations and their suppliers have been linked to human rights abuses and environmental damage across the world. Human rights and environmental defenders, especially Indigenous peoples, women and other marginalized communities face increasing harassment, intimidation, criminalization and even murder in standing up to powerful corporations with ties to the Canadian mining, energy, and garment sectors.

Appointed over a year ago, the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), lacking the power to compel testimony or the submission of documents, cannot effectively investigate allegations of human rights abuse linked to Canadian companies’ global operations and supply chains.

Now is the time to act to ensure Canadian companies respect human rights and the environment!

As part of the Month of Action for Mining Justice, we invite you to sign the e-petition to EMPOWER the CORE and ENACT mandatory human rights due diligence.

The Month of Action for Mining Justice is an annual initiative of the 38 member organizations part of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA), among them the Steelworkers Humanity Fund. The petition can be signed until September 1, 2020.

Apply by June 30: Family and Community Education Fund Can Support Pandemic Projects https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/apply-by-june-30-fcef-can-support-pandemic-projects Mon, 01 Jun 2020 14:16:35 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/apply-by-june-30-fcef-can-support-pandemic-projects Are members of your local feeling stressed and having trouble juggling daily tasks and responsibilities during COVID-19?

Maybe the USW Family and Community Education Fund (FCEF) can help.


An FCEF project is a great way to bring people together (virtually), do something good for your local and community and engage new or young activists in your local.


The Family and Community Education Fund is accepting applications until June 30, 2020, and this year, any local in Canada can apply.

At a time when we can’t gather together in person, you could apply for FCEF funding to:

  • Help purchase web-based tools to hold virtual social gatherings and meetings (or temporarily borrow one of the GoToMeeting credentials that the fund has access to).
  • Buy a subscription to online lessons (in music, dance, learning a new language, etc.) to share with all local-union members.

It’s Not as Much Work as You Think

Sarah Whelan, Vice-President of USW Local 4120, was feeling the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic personally and realized other members of her local, staff members at the University of Guelph, were likely dealing with heightened stress and anxiety, too.

Sarah wanted to do something for the USW membership to help with members’ mental health.

By talking over possibilities with Eric Delparte, FCEF Co-ordinator, Sarah realized she already had an idea that might work: offering a virtual Zentangle workshop for members.

Collection of Zentangle pieces by members of USW Local 4120De-stressing Kit and Course: Zentangle

Since the pandemic hit in March, many members of the local have been working from home.

Sarah knew that members were feeling stressed – working without their usual resources, loss of contact with co-workers, some were starting to feel lonely, and those with kids at home were finding it harder to get work done.

Zentangle is a repetitive, guided drawing method that is relaxing and meditative. Sarah had taken an in-person Zentangle workshop in March, before the pandemic hit, so she was familiar with it and knew she could talk to a local instructor about the possibility of hosting an online workshop.

“If we offered this to our membership (virtually), it could be for everyone. There’s a family component. You could do it with others in your household,” Sarah said.

Sarah applied to the fund for $5,000 to purchase 250 kits and hire an online instructor. The project was approved and Sarah will start promoting the Zentangle kits and workshop to USW 4120 members in early June.

How do you Get Started Applying to the Fund?

Sarah suggests knowing what your members want or need.

“It’s not hard to apply if you’ve thought out your project. The application itself helps you through it. And reach out to Eric. He’s such a good resource,” said Sarah.

What Kind of Project can you Dream up?

For more information or to discuss project ideas, please contact your district education co-ordinator or Eric Delparte, Fund Co-ordinator, at edelparte@usw.ca or by text or phone at 705-207-1691.

Get more ideas for virtual projects here.

Apply by June 30

The Family and Community Education Fund is open to all USW locals and the application deadline is June 30.

Solidarity will get us through the pandemic!

COVID-19 Won’t Stop Steel Pride: Marty Warren’s Statement for Pride Month https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/covid-19-wont-stop-steel-pride-marty-warrens-statement-for-pride-month Mon, 01 Jun 2020 09:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/covid-19-wont-stop-steel-pride-marty-warrens-statement-for-pride-month June is Pride month: a time to celebrate with our LGBTQ2SIA+ community. A strong union contract is the best workplace protection for LGBTQ2SIA+ workers. Because our diversity makes us stronger, the United Steelworkers commits to continue fighting for safe and inclusive communities and workplaces.

This 2020 Pride season will be unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the livelihoods of LGBTQ2SIA+ workers. They are disproportionately represented in industries and sectors which have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, such as retail, hospitality and tourism. While gathering for celebrations isn't possible this year, many Pride events will be broadcast live and shared by millions around the world via social media platforms. I encourage all members to participate in Pride events from their homes.

As an organization, we will continue to advocate for workplaces free of discrimination and harassment and reaffirm our commitment to building respect and dignity for all workers. The United Steelworkers union believes every worker is entitled to work free from discrimination and violence regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

As we celebrate Pride, we recognize that while we have come a long way, we must remain vigilant and fight for the advancement of human and civil rights here and abroad.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
Director, District 6

New Website Tracks Anti-Asian Racism https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/new-website-tracks-anti-asian-racism Fri, 29 May 2020 13:14:59 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/new-website-tracks-anti-asian-racism Anti-Asian racism is on the rise across Canada. Canadians of Asian ancestry or who appear Asian are being physically and verbally attacked by people who (mistakenly) blame them for the pandemic. A new website – Fight COVID Racism – is a way for individuals to share their experiences of racism. Entries can be made in English, French and Chinese (simplified and traditional).

The website has been created by the Chinese Canadian National Council, the Chinese Canadian National Council Social Justice, the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and the Civic Engagement Network Society of Canada. These organizations will use the data to track instances of Anti-Asian racism during COVID-19 and plan for collective action. The site also provides links to resources and support.


Federal Government Delays Release of National Action Plan on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/federal-government-delays-release-of-national-action-plan-on-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women Fri, 29 May 2020 10:27:48 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/federal-government-delays-release-of-national-action-plan-on-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women The Trudeau government is postponing the release of the action plan promised for June, one year after the release of the national inquiry’s final report. The inquiry chief commissioner and Indigenous organizations say there has been plenty of time already.

Read the article here

Share Your COVID-19 Work Experience https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/share-your-covid-19-work-experience Thu, 28 May 2020 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/articles/2020/share-your-covid-19-work-experience The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) has launched a survey to document and analyze the experiences of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey, open to all workers across Canada and available in English and French, aims to measure different aspects of job-related psychosocial conditions, along with symptoms related to stressful conditions and mood disorders. It builds on the success of an earlier survey of health-care workers’ experiences during the pandemic.

The survey will give voice to thousands of workers trying to get their job done during this crisis and offer the ability to understand the short-term and long-term physical and mental health impacts of working conditions during the pandemic. It will help identify patterns and provide insight for future stress and harm prevention.

Take the survey and share your experiences here.

Click here to access the French-language survey.