Ken Neumann Statement on Black History Month

In our union’s proud history of promoting and supporting equality, Steelworkers celebrate Black History Month each February. We remember and 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 are beginning to recognize that despite advances in equality, racism has played an historic part in our national experience. This experience has also led to discrimination against black immigrants and Canadians in our workplaces.

Celebrating our own members during Black History Month, we recognize Veronica Morgan and Clarence Forde, two Steelworkers who have been recipients the CBTU’s prestigious Bromley Armstrong Award. Veronica Morgan was a union activist in Toronto who stood up to a male-dominated executive. Clarence Forde served as the Chair of the National Human Rights Committee and is now a SOAR member.

In support and celebration of Black History Month, Steelworkers can become 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 comments and jokes in our communities and workplaces

The principles of equality are essential in 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.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director


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