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USW at Pride Toronto Partners Summit

March 8, 2023
Image: Two people are sitting on chairs as part of a group discussion. A bearded white man in a USW t-shirt with tattoos on his forearn is holding a microphone and speking, gesturing with his hand as he talks. He has a notebook on his lap. A Black woman with long dark hair to his right is observing as he speaks. She is holding a glass of water. A Pride Toronto standup banner is behind them. They are in a room with red brick walls. A computer is on a high table off to the side. There is other meeting equipment behind the speakers - a light stand and a long black cord from the computer.

Mayson Fulk, a member of USW Local 2859, attended the Pride Toronto Partners’ Summit, representing the Steelworkers union and the broader labour movement. He wrote about his experience and future plans of involvement:

“I had the opportunity and honour to represent labour, specifically the United Steelworkers union, at the Pride Toronto Partners’ Summit. 

“The annual event brings together donors and corporate sponsors, who, through their dollars and advertising, help make Pride happen each year. The event has lacked a labour presence for quite some time. 

“I was invited to participate in an interesting discussion panel by Pride Toronto Executive Director Sherwin Modeste and Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Human Rights Director Chandra-Li Paul surrounding authenticity in DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) policies and initiatives. 

“It was a day of important discussions on diversity, inclusion and equity. The importance of labour’s participation in these discussions cannot be understated. It is incumbent upon labour to have a strong voice at the table when we discuss the diversity and inclusion of workers. This is an event I look forward to participating again in the future. 

“Nothing for us, without us.”

York University students introduced to equity in the workplace

Fulk also had the chance to be a guest speaker at an industrial relations class at York University:

“The subject was how collective bargaining can be used to gain equity in the workplace. I was invited to speak on my position as the Trans Liaison for USW District 6 and how the union is working to bargain more inclusive contracts.

“These third- and fourth-year students will go on to become the human resources specialists that write policies, participate in harassment investigations and bargain contracts in unionized workplaces.

“It was a great opportunity to teach them how to work with unions to secure the best workplace protections for all workers.”

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