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Bargaining for better – Labour Day 2022

August 31, 2022 | Statements

Across Canada, Labour Day is more than just a long weekend marking the unofficial end of summer. It’s a chance to look back and celebrate what working people have won together – including the weekend – and to recommit to fighting for more. This year, we have plenty of reasons to do both. 

The last couple of years have been hard and now life is getting more expensive. In the face of all this uncertainty, workers in every sector have been looking for fairer treatment and more security. This year, over and over again, from manufacturing to forestry and health care to coffee shops, workers have looked to USW for that strength and solidarity and have taken the step of joining our union.

We’re bargaining in – and for – better days. Still, many of our members are facing big challenges in bargaining and it’s as important as ever that we come together and not let up on winning fair wages, better working conditions and guarantees for pensions and benefits for our members. 

It’s also important for us to mark the victories we’ve had beyond the bargaining table, in the halls of government. 

In British Columbia, Starbucks workers were the first to take advantage of the NDP government’s new card check law and became Steelworkers. Nationally, the union’s work helped the federal NDP secure clear commitments and timelines from the government on a number of our priorities including dental care, pharmacare, and the first federal anti-scab legislation. 

Legislation still needs to be passed to lock in these commitments, fund federal jobs and protect pensions in the case of bankruptcy.

We also finally won our long fight for the right to file trade complaints on our own, without having to work with an employer. This means we can stand up against foreign dumping of everything from steel to mattresses and protect Canadian jobs and whole industries. 

But we know our fight isn’t over. CEOs and some governments continue to put shareholders, insiders and the ultra-rich first.

We cannot stop pushing to make sure Canadian workers, materials and products are used in all infrastructure projects and are recognized as central to the success of any plan to rebuild the economy and fight climate change.

Solidarity means working together on the challenges we face and sharing in our opportunities. 

And being a member of the United Steelworkers union means being part of the union that is leading the way. 

The USW truly is everybody’s union.

In solidarity, 

Marty Warren
National Director for Canada

Scott Lunny
District 3 Director

Dominic Lemieux
District 5 Director

Myles Sullivan
District 6 Director

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