Members were out in force throughout the summer at Pride and Labour Day events in every corner of Western and Northern Canada. September brought a motivating week-long district school at St. Eugene in Cranbrook, B.C. The venue, now owned and operated by local First Nations, was once a residential school. Over 100 USW participants and facilitators got the opportunity to learn about that terrible legacy as well as the history and culture of the Ktunaxa Nation. It was a powerful experience that moved me, and I believe contributed to moving our union forward.
We also offered the new “Unionism on Turtle Island” course, which goes in depth into the truth of our colonial legacy and how the USW can advance reconciliation. The school brought many new activists together and it was great to hear from energetic members who are embracing union education on health and safety, collective bargaining and leadership, and using it to take on roles in their locals. We can all be proud of our commitment to member education and the quality programs that we provide.
September also brought the general election in Manitoba. I’m proud that our Steelworkers Vote classes and co-ordinators worked hard to inform our members about the election, what was at stake and the importance of getting out to vote. The USW endorsed Wab Kinew and the Manitoba NDP, and we are excited to see the new Premier and his team get to work on affordability, fixing the health-care system and putting his ambitious jobs plan for the province into action.
District 3 also mourns the loss of our International President, Tom Conway. His commitment to the members, his strategic vision and his call for us to organize and be “Everybody’s Union” will live on in our work. Rest in Power, Tom.
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USW District 3 Director