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CFL Players’ Association and United Steelworkers join together to take on gender-based violence

December 6, 2021 | Media Releases

TORONTO – On December 6, the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) and the United Steelworkers union (USW) join together to remember the 14 women murdered at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, whose lives were lost in an act of gender-based violence in 1989.

Today, the two organizations not only remember their lives, and the lives of all impacted by gender-based violence, we also renew our calls for action and commitment to end gender-based violence.

As part of this commitment, the USW and the CFLPA are working together to take a stand and speak out on gender-based violence. The two groups will do this by training (male-identified) members of each organization to be leaders, allies and spokespeople to stand up against all forms of gender-based violence – as part of the Be More Than a Bystander campaign.  

The program will work to break the silence surrounding violence against women and girls by providing tools, language and practical ideas about how to be more than a bystander, how to speak up and how to communicate that violence and abuse are not acceptable.

“We have trained a number of spokespeople to facilitate sessions in our local unions and workplaces to call out gender-based violence and challenge the culture that nurtures it.  We are excited that our partnership with the CFLPA will continue to build on this program and that together we will be standing up to speak out against gender-based violence,” said Ken Neumann, USW Canadian National Director.

“Today, we remember the 14 women who were senselessly murdered at Montreal’s École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989, and affirm the commitment of the CFLPA in standing together with the United Steelworkers against these harmful acts and violence toward women and girls. We accept this important challenge and pledge to be more than bystanders by helping to prevent and, one day, end gender-based violence. Thank you to the United Steelworkers for this important partnership which has the potential to help protect so many others from gender-based violence,” said Brian Ramsay, CFLPA Executive Director.

The CFLPA and USW signed a strategic partnership in 2019. The USW represents 225,000 members across Canada in nearly every sector of the economy. Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW, recognizing the union for its strong record in health and safety, workers’ rights, winning good collective agreements and more.

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Since 1965, the Association has worked to establish fair and reasonable working conditions while protecting the rights of all CFL players.

Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118, sdevine@usw.ca
Jason Langvee, CFL Players’ Association, 1-800-616-6865, j.langvee@cflpa.com

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