Ken is the National Director for Canada, United Steelworkers (USW). Born and raised in rural Saskatchewan, Ken Neumann has been a lifelong Steelworker. When he was still a teenager, he was a member of Local 5890 at Ipsco Ltd. in Regina, SK, and later was a member of Local 6166 at Inco Ltd. in Thompson, MB.
As a member of Local 4728 (Westank-Willock, Regina), Ken became active as a steward and later took on other responsibilities in the local prior to being elected president. He became an instructor, organizer, and president of the Regina Area Council before being hired as a Steelworker Staff Representative in 1977.
First elected District 3 Director in 1989, he was returned to office in every election until he was appointed by the International Executive Board as National Director for Canada in 2004 following the retirement of Lawrence McBrearty. He was reconfirmed in the union’s 2005 international elections, and in November 2009 was re-confirmed again for the 2010-2014 term.
Ken has built a personal reputation for strong service to Steelworker members. As National Director, Ken was instrumental in completing the merger with the Industrial Wood & Allied Workers of Canada (IWA) in 2004, and under his leadership, the union in Canada has signed strategic alliances with the Alliance of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA); the Canadian Region of Communications Workers of Canada (CWA); Environmental Defence; and most recently the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU). In 2007, he hosted the 50th Canadian National Policy Conference, an historic event that included signing the Ottawa Accord – the agreement between our union and UNITE to form the first Global Union.
Ken is active in numerous Canadian and international organizations, including serving as labour co-chair of the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress (CSTEC); President of the Steelworkers’ Humanity Fund; and Director of the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) and the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM). He is also secretary of the USW Non-ferrous Industry Conference, chair of the United Dominion Industries Conference, and a General Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.