President, Canadian Union of Poster Workers
Nearly 30 years after being a shop steward in her workplace, Jan Simpson is the first Black woman to lead a national union in Canada. Jan has been breaking barriers at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers for many years since first starting at Canada Post in 1985. She was the first Black woman elected to the CUPW national office and to the national board. Since the beginning, Simpson has been a fierce advocate for her members. Her leadership has particularly shone during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are only a handful of the many stories of courage held by Black men and women in the labour movement. Their contributions to creating a more just society are immeasurable, but the work is not finished. Although much progress has been made thanks to the actions of these individuals and others, anti-Black racism persists. The labour movement must continue to lead the charge against racism and discrimination in Canada.