Steelworkers Humanity Fund Update – July 2023

September 25, 2023
Feeling the heat of global warming: responding to a growing emergency

2023 has been a difficult year for many countries as we wrestle with the devasting impacts of global warming and increasing global temperatures. Heat and extreme weather patterns have distressing consequences for humans, nature, communities, and workers exposed to dangerous conditions. July 2023 has reported some of the hottest days recorded across many places in Asia, Europe and North America. 

These recent heatwaves were also felt close to home and across Canada from West to East, as wildfires raged in Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, both far and near inhabited areas. In those provinces, massive forest fires led to the displacement of thousands of people and the hardship felt by communities where USW members work and live.  

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund has a mandate to provide emergency aid at home and abroad when urgent humanitarian needs emerge. This is why we responded promptly to support immediate relief and recovery operations for affected communities and emergency preparedness and risk reduction for future disasters. Thanks to the support of our members, we donated a total of $105,000 dollars to the Canadian Red Cross, sometimes doubling our impact through matching donations provided by provincial governments. 

Recent years have seen an increasingly clear pattern of national and global disasters directly linked to the impact of climate change, like, wildfires and floods, but also increased food insecurity. Those events have daily and ongoing effects on the lives of people, workers and communities. The scientific community is unanimous: we will see a lot more of this if no immediate actions are taken to limit fossil fuel emissions. Global warming is here, and we must decide how to confront it. 

In addition to the emergency relief provided by the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, our union will continue to advocate for policies that support comparatively clean Canadian manufacturing and sustainable jobs across economic sectors. Since 2008, through the USW-founded Blue Green Canada, the union works jointly with environmental allies to fight for policies that create and maintain good, community-sustaining union jobs while combatting climate change.  


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