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USW Local 818L

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History of Canada's Most Important Industrial Union:
The United Steelworkers

The history of the steelworkers in Canada is a rich one, sprinkled victory after victory for working people. Thousands of Canadians have been able to bargain a decent wage.  Thousands have better medical drug, dental, life insurance and pensions.  And all of Canadian society has benefited from the Union's work on the political front.
 
In 1930s, employees of the big steel companies in the United States and Canada formed the Steel Workers Organizing Committee. In 1942, they met in Cleveland, Ohio to form a new international union- the United Steelworkers of America.
 
One early pioneer was Charles Millard, the Union's first Canadian director. Another was John L. Lewis, who led the United Mine Workers and later helped set up the Steelworkers, Philip Murray was the first President of the Union. People like Millard, Murray and Lewis had a passion for justice and the dream of a better life for Canadian and American workers.
 
But it wasn't easy. In the early days, it took great strikes to establish the Union and get the respect of employers.
 
 
The 1946 Steel Strike
 
Although the new union had little money and no strike fund, the Steelworkers had to strike in 1946 against three big Canadian steel companies: Algoma Steel in Sault Ste MArie, Ontarion, The Steel Company of Canada (Stelco), and the Dominion Steel and Coal Coporation in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Wages had been 64 cents an hour at Stelco. You had to work 25 years to get more than just a week off. If you got sick. you lost your income. The Union changed all that by surviving the 1946 strike. Other workers saw the Steelworkers were here to stay, and joined up.

 
 

 

Executive Board

President: Tom Hill

Vice President: Dave Angell

Recording Secretary: Geoff Lowe

Treasurer: Alf Merril

Financial Secretary: Dan Denes

Inside Guard: Dave Andrews

Outside Guard: Marlene Carson

Guide: Terry Morrison

1 Trustee: Mike Stephens

2 Trustee: Dave Parfeniuk

3 Trustee: Doug McMillian

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Tom Hill is our President.
 
Past Presidents include
Doug McMillian
Don Wade
Bob Currie
Brenda Klerks

United Steelworkers Local 818L