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USW Sees Opportunity for Canadian Workers as Trudeau and Biden Meet

TORONTO, February 23, 2021 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

In the lead up to his meeting with U.S. President Biden, the United Steelworkers union (USW) is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to stand up for workers and defend Canadian jobs.

"President Biden is showing good faith by making Canada his first bilateral meeting. The Prime Minister must not miss this chance to strengthen Canada's relationship with the United States while defending and even creating Canadian jobs," said USW National Director Ken Neumann. "The new President's stated commitments offer the perfect opportunity for the Prime Minister to seek Canadian exemptions to Buy American policies, permanently resolve the softwood lumber dispute, and start incorporating our countries' climate plans."

Since his election, beyond fighting the pandemic, President Biden has made commitments to fight climate change, invest in infrastructure and stand up for workers. Neumann pointed out that finding common ground on these priorities will mean the difference between job growth or job losses in Canada.

From aluminum and steel to cement and wood, the materials needed to build President Biden's promised infrastructure are produced in Canada and often with a smaller carbon footprint than those produced elsewhere. Far from increasing tariffs on these materials, as is rumoured to be happening in the case of softwood lumber, USW argues that Canada should be included in Buy American plans and credited environmental advances.

The USW also called on the Prime Minister to make a clear commitment to protecting all workers by joining the President in clear steps to bring an end to anti-worker legislation and help facilitate unionization on both sides of the border, including in the growing gig economy.

"If the President can be convinced to include Canada as a partner in his plans on these priorities, it would mean more jobs and opportunity in both countries," said Neumann. "If the Prime Minister lets Canada get left out of the new President's plans to grow the American economy, Canadian workers will be left on the outside looking in."

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SOURCE: United Steelworkers

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Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell),
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