We are the United Steelworkers, North America’s largest industrial union. We represent 1.2 million members and retirees in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. We proudly represent men and women who work in nearly every industry there is. Our members are leaders in your communities, in your work places, in our governments and more. We have a presence in the United Kingdom, Ireland, England, Scotland, Mexico and many other places around the world.
We believe in the better. We stand up and fight back for better. We work for working families around the world. The USW is the largest private sector union in North America with more than 225,000 members in Canada and more than 800,000 members continent-wide.The USW is Canada’s most diverse union, representing men and women working in every sector of the economy.
Our Industries and Workplaces
We are a diverse union that proudly represents working people in nearly every industry and in every job imaginable.
We work in call centres and credit unions, mines and manufacturing plants, offices and oil refineries, restaurants and rubber plants, sawmills and steel mills and security companies. We work in nursing homes, legal clinics, social agencies and universities.
We slurry and smelt aluminum. We mine for iron ore and create cement. We make glass and metals of many kinds. We produce paper and paper products. And we craft energy-saving wind turbines that help save our earth.
We are nurses and nurses’ aides. We make Harley Davidson motorcycles and Carrier air conditioners. We’re rubber workers who make your tires; metal workers who make the materials that go into buildings, homes, automobiles, planes and roads.
We serve you at banks and teach at universities. You’ll find us in oil refineries and grocery stores. At utility companies and in chemical plants. We work in the public sector and in the forests. We drive taxicabs and work in airports. We’re security guards and electricians. We’re miners and pharmaceutical workers. We work in all these places and so many more.
Steelworkers are strong believers in democracy.
Our organization is run by our members. It is regular members who decide to fight to improve our wages, benefits and working conditions; to ensure justice and dignity on the job and to create a social movement to better the lives of all working people.
Steelworkers believe in “one member, one vote.” Each individual member elects their local, district, national and international leaders. Members elect their union leaders every three years.
Other unions elect their leaders by a small number of delegates at a convention. That every member has a vote is unique, making the United Steelworkers one of the world’s most democratic unions.
Members of the USW make decisions about the union’s policies, direction and programs at several levels – at the Canadian USW National Policy Conference and at the USW International Convention, each held on a three-year cycle. Each local union will elect delegates to send to conferences and conventions.
Our Members’ Dues
Dues give the union the power to protect and advance members’ rights on many fronts, today and in the future. Your dues give you a real say in your workplace, along with the right to bargain for better job security, higher wages, a healthy and safe job, a good pension and other benefits.
Union dues fund the daily operations of local unions and the services from the USW centrally that support our locals. Dues provide bargaining and pension expertise, education programs, health and safety services, workers’ compensation assistance, grievance representation, research and legal expertise, and support a $300-million strike and lockout defense fund.
Union dues are a very small percentage of total earnings. Dues are tax-deductible. Steelworkers believe in financial accountability.
Union accounts are audited regularly by professionals. The international audit is a public report delivered to all local unions for every member to access. Union dues are collected and banked in Canadian financial institutions under the authority of Canadian union directors. Our directors are accountable to the membership and elected in a “one member, one secret ballot” process every three years. This level of accountability is unique among unions in Canada.
The USW dues formula is 1.55% of gross pay and 2 cents per hour worked.
The USW is divided into 13 districts across North America including three districts in Canada.
• District 3 is our union in Western Canada including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
• District 5 is the USW’s district in Quebec.
• District 6 includes Ontario and Atlantic Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
• Canadian National Office is headquartered in Toronto