Resolution No. 6: Women of Steel

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WHEREAS, all USW sisters are Women of Steel regardless of industry or sector in which they are employed, and regardless of gender identity, race, Indigeneity, age, and ability level; and

WHEREAS, USW Women of Steel show their solidarity and sisterhood by standing together to advance women’s equality across our diversity and to counter assaults on worker rights, by volunteering for political and organizing activities, by running and volunteering for roles in our union and community, and by engaging in bargaining and corporate campaign struggles; and

WHEREAS, in 2018, union sisters converged on the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for the Eighth USW International Women’s Conference where “A USW Call to Action for Women’s Equality” document was adopted as a guide to further women’s equality in the workplace and communities.

WHEREAS, USW International Women’s Conferences provide a venue for union sisters to learn from one another, build solidarity to increase support for their local unions, districts, and other women and workers around the world; and

WHEREAS, the USW encourages participation and leadership of all sisters through the ever-expanding District women’s programs, the Women of Steel Leadership Course conducted at least annually in each District, Women of Steel council, chapter or District meetings, and the USW National Women’s Committee in Canada, and by ensuring that Women of Steel is on the agenda at all major District, National, and International functions; and

WHEREAS, Women of Steel activists have engaged Union brothers in the struggle to end violence against women by bargaining paid and other leaves of absences for members experiencing domestic violence; by lobbying for national action plans, increased funding for women’s shelters, and real measures to end the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and by challenging sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist language and behavior in local and other union events; and

WHEREAS, the USW Constitution demonstrates our Union’s commitment to the development and education of union sisters by establishing that Local Union Women’s Committees be created in every local union where sisters work.


  1. The USW will continue to identify, support and mentor Women of Steel activists in our workplaces, our Union, and our communities.
  2. Our Union will support, promote, assist in, and provide resources to promote a deeper understanding of the need for, and to develop, local union Women’s Committees, equal in importance and responsibility to all other mandated committees and are included as a fundamental and inherent part of the local union to increase solidarity and activism, and to assist with the work of the local.
  3. Women of Steel will continue its efforts to reach across borders to build solidarity on an international basis, to promote economic and social equality of women, to assist in the struggles against exploitation of all workers around the world, and continue our work with Unite the Union as part of our Workers United efforts to develop Women Workers Uniting.
  4. Each USW District Women of Steel Coordinator will, along with their District Director, continue to develop and implement a District Women of Steel Plan, taking into account “A USW Call to Action on Women’s Equality.”
  5. Our Union will continue its women’s programs at the International, National, and District levels while striving to enhance and update them, and will encourage each local union to support Women of Steel meetings and activities at all levels.
  6. Our Union will continue working to advance women’s economic, political and social equality through political action, community engagement, collective bargaining, union education, research, and communication.
  7. The USW will continue to support Women of Steel Vote efforts to build the numbers of women becoming involved in political action, lobbying and running as candidates in municipal, state, provincial and federal elections.
  8. Women of Steel will continue to fight for changes in labor laws in order to ensure that women can seek the protection and representation of unions, reaching out to unorganized women to inform them about the benefits of union membership, and will also fight for other work-related laws which advance women’s economic equality such as pay equity, reproductive rights, and maternity/parental leave laws, among many others.
  9. The USW will continue to challenge itself to identify how we can build on the success of our Women of Steel and equality programs to ensure that we reflect the diversity of our membership through the activities and decision-making structures of our Union.
  10. Our Union will use “A Call to Action for Women’s Equality” document as a guide for our International, National, District and Local Union work with emphasis on the following subsections:
    1. Ending violence and sexual harassment against women and girls

    2. Women’s health and safety at work

    3. Women’s inclusion when planning and running events, programs, and policies

    4. Women in leadership and activism

    5. Changing the channel on hatred

    6. Closing the gender wage gap

    7. Standing with sisters around the world

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