Labour Day – Strong Unions, Strong Communities

At a momentous conference held recently in Sault Ste. Marie, United Steelworkers members from across Ontario and Atlantic Canada were recognized by news media and community and political leaders for the tremendous benefits that their union and their activism provide to their communities.

Indeed, it is more clear than ever that the labour movement and the contributions of union members everywhere remain a vital force in supporting strong families, strong communities and social and economic justice.

So it is that on Labour Day 2015, we not only celebrate and honour the labour movement’s historic achievements that have benefitted us all, we re-commit to mobilize and carry on the legacy of progressive activism that produced greater equality and higher working and living standards for everyone.

United Steelworkers members can proudly say that we continue to make a difference for workers and families, in our workplaces, in our communities and in our legislatures. 

Today, to cite just a few examples, our union members are setting new standards for pension protection in the post-secondary education sector, we are taking on U.S. Steel in the courts to defend workers and pensioners, we are building community alliances and supporting charities to help those most in need, and we are collectively and voluntarily donating portions of our heard-earned wages to support grassroots projects in numerous developing countries. 

And with a historic federal election only weeks away, rank-and-file Steelworkers are becoming more politically engaged than ever, to counter a regressive, right-wing agenda that has produced growing inequality over the last two decades.

Most of the shameful rise in inequality in our country is the result of more than a decade of Liberal social program cuts, tax giveaways to corporations and regressive policies. The subsequent Conservative government has piled on to this destructive agenda in the past decade and contributed to even greater inequality.

Steelworkers are working hard in this federal campaign to elect New Democrats because we know that only the NDP can be trusted to stand up for working families and our communities.

We know that whenever our members face a struggle, whenever working families anywhere are under attack, the NDP is the only party that can always be counted on to be on our side.

I am proud and humbled on this Labour Day to represent the members of United Steelworkers District 6. Today we join with our families, friends and neighbours to reflect, to celebrate, to re-commit to defending our shared values and to have fun. Together we will take on the challenges ahead with hope, optimism and a positive outlook for a better future.

Have a safe and enjoyable Labour Day.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
USW District 6 Director

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