Steelworkers' Leo Gerard to Receive Honorary Degree

    GUELPH, ON, June 4 /CNW/ - The International President of the United
Steelworkers, Leo Gerard, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from
the University of Guelph in recognition of his contributions to social
    In 2001, Canadian Leo Gerard was elected international president of the
United Steelworkers, North America's largest private sector union. He is also
a vice-president of the American Federation of Labour and Congress of
Industrial Organizations, the largest federation of unions in the U.S.
    Under Gerard's leadership, the USW has had many victories: won major
tariff relief that helped save the American steel industry; a Workers First
law in Canada that gives workers top priority in corporate bankruptcies; and
the landmark Westray Bill that makes corporations criminally accountable for
deaths and injuries to their employees or members of the public. Leo has been
a leader within the labour movement for health and safety, social justice and
humanitarian issues.
    As Int'l President, Gerard has championed alliances with unions
throughout the world, including Germany, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico. Leo's
international work has culminated in the creation of the first global union,
"Workers Uniting", with Unite the Union UK's largest labour organization.
    Leo Gerard also serves on the U.S. National Commission on Energy Policy
and is a founding board member of the Apollo Alliance, a non-profit public
policy initiative for creating good jobs in pursuit of energy independence.
    The son of a union miner, Gerard started working at Inco's nickel smelter
in Sudbury, Ontario at age 18. Inspired by a lifelong commitment to economic
and social justice, Gerard rose through the ranks to become the first
president of the new USW.
    Prior to his election as USW President, Gerard served as the union's
International Secretary-Treasurer (1994-2001), as National Director for Canada
(1991-1994), and as Director of District 6 in Ontario (1986-1991). He was
appointed a USW Staff Representative in 1977.
    Leo married his high school sweetheart, Susan, and they have two
children, Kari-Ann and Meaghan, and two grandchildren, Elyssa and Liam.

    WHAT:     Honorary Doctorate of Laws Awarded by the College of Social &
              Applied Human Sciences
    WHO:      Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers
    WHEN:     June 11th 2:30pm
    WHERE:    University of Guelph, Gryphon Dome

For further information:

For further information: Bob Gallagher, USW, (416) 544-5966, (416)

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