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Federal budget should follow Biden’s commitment to unionized jobs

March 28, 2023 | Media Releases
National Director Marty Warren speaking in front of the House of Commons

With the release of today’s budget, members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) are looking for the federal government to deliver on the hopeful commitment it made during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit last week.

“The decisions made by the federal government in this budget will mean the difference between job growth or job losses in Canada,” said Marty Warren, USW National Director for Canada.

“With his Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Biden committed hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change, invest in infrastructure and explicitly create good unionized jobs. The President knows that Canadian workers and the products we mine and manufacture are critical to making sure he meets his climate and economic goals. The Prime Minister and members of his cabinet have told workers they understand that too. This budget is their chance to deliver,” Warren said.

Along with Canadian aluminum, steel, cement and wood, critical minerals such as nickel, steel-making coal, cobalt, copper, lithium, indium and tellurium are mined and produced in Canada – with far-lower carbon impacts and by workers often supported by good unionized jobs.

In addition to calling for improved access to employment insurance and investments to expand health care – including dental and pharma care, Warren noted that investments in a sustainable jobs plan and a commitment to showcasing Canada’s lower-carbon products are crucial, if the government is serious about supporting Canadian workers and earning more exemptions to the U.S. “Buy America” rules.

“From promising anti-scab legislation to investing in so-called ‘just transition’ this government has done a lot of talking about supporting Canadian workers, but President Biden has shown us what real action looks like,” said Warren.

“To make sure that high-quality, family-supporting unionized jobs stay in Canada and that both our countries meet our goals of a lower-carbon economy, workers need the Canadian government to take this chance to earn our continued place as a partner in President Biden’s plans.”

The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.

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Media Contact

George Soule, USW Communications, 306-531-9112, gsoule@usw.ca

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