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Marty Warren Statement on Black History Month

As District 6 represents one of the most diverse Districts in Canada, it is important that we 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.

In our communities and workplaces, the contribution of black workers has been significant in the industries and economies of Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. In addition to celebration, it is also important to note that racism plays a significant role in hiring, job opportunities and promotion. Day to day, black workers and other racialized people face harassment through racist jokes and stereotypical treatment. In more extreme cases, verbal and physical violence are included

Celebration can also become activism. I call on Steelworkers to make a difference by

  • Joining the New Democratic Party to support legislation for creating and amending human rights and workplace safety laws
  • Creating a Human Rights Committee in your local or unit by using the mandate in the USW Constitution’s Article VII, Section 12
  • Introducing and strengthening anti-racism language in collective bargaining
  • 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

It is very important to me that equality remains a core part of Steelworker solidarity. I encourage everyone to celebrate Black History Month with me in February. Beyond that, let us work together to continue fighting for equality in our workplaces and communities. 

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
Director, District 6

 

Resources

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

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bgallagher@usw.ca
416-544-5966 or
416-434-2221

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416-544-5991 

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