Marty Warren is a lifelong social and labour activist and United Steelworkers Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, representing 74,000 working people.
As the crisis in Canada’s steel industry deepens, tens of thousands of working families and pensioners grow increasingly anxious for support from their political leaders.
These families and pensioners are now being joined by their fellow citizens, community groups, labour and municipal leaders in mobilizing to bring attention to the steel crisis and urge our federal and provincial governments to act now — before it’s too late.
Unless our governments take decisive, meaningful action, not only will the livelihoods of so many be jeopardized, we could soon witness the irrevocable loss of a cornerstone of the 21st-century manufacturing economy that Canada needs.
Steel manufacturing in Canada is a $14-billion-per-year industry that currently supports 20,000 direct jobs, with another 100,000 indirect jobs tied to the sector. Tens of thousands of steel industry retirees rely on the continued viability of their pension plans for a dignified retirement and protection from dire poverty.
Communities across the country depend on tax revenues and economic spinoffs generated by the steel sector to support local businesses and to fund our hospitals, schools and other essential public services.
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