TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In August and September, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) contributed $72,000 to organizations supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Canada, Chile and Brazil who were already facing hardship and systematic inequalities at the onset of the pandemic.
In Canada, migrant, poor and racialized communities are among the worst affected by the economic downturn. The SHF’s response includes funding for Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC), the Migrant Rights Network and Canada Without Poverty (CWP).
Funds contributed by United Steelworkers members through the SHF will allow MWAC to offer direct support to migrant and undocumented people and advocate for full and permanent immigration status. SHF funding will assist CWP implement its Poverty Pandemic Watch project, ensuring that the voices and experiences of those living in poverty in Canada are heard in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund has also partnered with the Committee for Human Rights in Latin America, a Quebec-based human rights organization, to support Brazilian organizations and social movements. These groups will respond to the emergency needs of Indigenous groups, quilombola (black rural communities) and impoverished urban neighborhoods which were already suffering from the government’s neoliberal policies.
SHF funds also were granted to a coalition of exiled Chileans living in Canada to support 10 grassroots women’s organizations across Chile in building a nationwide solidarity network that will provide basic assistance to affected communities.
“It is clear that everyone does not fare the same through COVID-19, from one country to another but also within Canada. The pandemic has amplified existing inequalities, which is why we are supporting initiatives seeking to address its longer-term effects on the most marginalized,” said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director and President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund.
The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that promotes respect for human rights and contributes to development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, as well as supporting Canadian communities in crisis. United Steelworkers members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases employers make matching contributions.