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. Steelworkers of all colours are also part of a larger community of equality seeking groups. As such, I would first like to express our condemnation of the shootings on January 29th at a Quebec City mosque claiming the lives of six people. Our condolences go out to the families, friends and the community of those who lost their lives. In support and mourning, I know that many Steelworkers attended vigils across the country.

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 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.

In support and celebration of Black History Month, Steelworkers can become activists and 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



“Working While Black.” A Canadian Labour Congress webinar series, including French and English sections.

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