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 races are also part of a larger community of equality-seeking groups. 

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. 

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 support and celebration of Black History Month, Steelworkers can become activists and allies 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).
  • Join with like-minded labour and community allies to stop racial profiling by police.
  • Promote and attend Steelworker education workshops on human rights and anti-harassment in the workplace.
  • Lobby federal, provincial and municipal politicians to bring in equality legislation increasing protections against religious and race hatred.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director

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