Federal budget answers Steelworkers’ call to defend Canadian jobs

TORONTO – The United Steelworkers union (USW) is celebrating an important victory for workers that was included in the federal budget, tabled last week.

For years, as part of the fight to defend Canadian jobs, USW has led the way in calling for important changes to trade laws in Canada. With the federal budget – and subsequent confirmation from the Department of Finance – the government has answered these calls with commitments that include stronger defences against circumvention of duties imposed by Canada, better consideration of worker impact in trade cases and the opportunity for labour unions to file trade remedy complaints independently.

“Over several years USW members showed first-hand the impact of unfair trade on their work and communities,” said USW National Director Marty Warren. “The years of participation in trade cases by our local union members were key to moving these reforms forward.”

The budget document itself announced the government’s intention to “introduce amendments to the Special Import Measures Act and the Canadian Trade Tribunal Act to strengthen Canada’s trade remedy system by better ensuring unfairly traded goods are subject to duties, and increasing participation of workers.”

Canada will also finally join other trading partners, notably the United States, that have long allowed trade unions to file anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases to protect domestic jobs. Changes in 2017 to Canada’s trade remedy legislation (the Special Import Measures Act) permitted trade unions to participate in trade cases but only with the co-operation of their employers.

“I want to again thank all USW local union members and leaders who have participated in trade cases for years to make this happen,” said Warren. “We will continue to work with the federal government to ensure that the commitments they’ve made, quickly become law. Once implemented, these changes will give Canada some of the most progressive trade law in the world.”

The United Steelworkers union represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.


For further information:

Marty Warren, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951
George Soule, USW Communications, 306-351-9112, gsoule@usw.ca

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