United Steelworkers Help Swell Ranks of NDP

Support for Brian Topp strong among Steelworkers

TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - Steelworkers are connecting the dots between labour and politics and joining the NDP in unprecedented numbers to help choose the next leader.

"Now more than ever, working families need the NDP to change politics," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director. "Steelworkers have stepped up and joined the NDP as individuals in record numbers. Our union members, as members of the NDP, will be directly involved in choosing the next NDP leader. A leader who may well become the next Prime Minister."

The USW's intensive four-month NDP membership drive has resulted in thousands of new NDP members, who will be voting in the leadership race. The NDP membership deadline was February 18 for members to be eligible to vote in the March 24 leadership race.

"This NDP membership drive is about Steelworkers talking to Steelworkers," said Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director. "Middle-class families are under attack like never before. Steelworkers are joining the NDP as individuals so working families can have a positive say in our country's direction."

"The NDP leadership race offers a great opportunity to get Steelworkers involved in the NDP in a direct way," said Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director. "The NDP is capitalizing on the momentum of last spring's Orange Wave. The party has grown by 53% and Steelworkers are definitely an important part of that growth."

Steelworkers understand that Brian Topp is the candidate that is best suited to stand up for working families.

Neumann, Fraser, Hunt and USW International President Leo W. Gerard have all endorsed Brian Topp for NDP leader.

"We believe Brian Topp has the broad national experience that is required to get the job done and take the NDP to government," said Hunt.

"Brian Topp is the right person to take on Harper. Brian has the skills and intelligence to lead a progressive, strong NDP government," added Fraser.

"Brian Topp has what it takes to replace Harper and build a stronger and more equal Canada," said Gerard.

"While we strongly support Topp, Steelworkers were asked to join the NDP no matter who they personally support for leader," emphasized Neumann.

The United Steelworkers is a founding member of the New Democratic Party. The USW represents women and men in every economic sector, including mining, forestry and universities, with over 225,000 members across Canada.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Bob Gallagher, USW Communications bgallagher@usw.ca 416-544-5966


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