Leo Gerard was 11 years old when he handed out his first union leaflets. That was in 1958, and he was living in Sudbury, a mining town. The leaflets were for the Mine Mill, the union his father belonged to.
What Gerard didn’t know then was that he would spend much of the rest of his life as a labour leader and activist. He began as a staff representative at the United Steelworkers (the USW) and moved quickly through the ranks. This summer, he retired as international president of the USW, a position he held for 18 years.
Gerard spoke to The Sunday Edition’s Michael Enright about his life in the labour movement and the future of unions in an age of globalized trade, a collapsing manufacturing sector and precarious employment. Continue Reading →