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Hassan Yussuff

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Hassan Yussuff is one of Canada’s most experienced labour leaders. As the past President of the Canadian Labour Congress, he was the first person of colour to lead Canada’s union movement.

After emigrating from Guyana, Mr. Yussuff worked as a truck mechanic with General Motors for 10 years before getting involved in the labour movement. In 1988, he joined the Canadian Auto Workers union as the National Staff Representative, and later became their first Director of Human Rights. In 1999, he became Canadian Labour Congress’s first person of colour elected to an executive position, as Executive Vice-President. He went on to be elected as Secretary-Treasurer for three terms, from 2002 to 2014, before being elected President in 2014. He was re-elected in this role in 2017.

In addition to his work in Canada, Mr. Yussuff is a prominent international activist. In 2016, he was elected for his second term as President of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, an organization uniting 48 national organizations and representing more than 55 million workers in 21 countries. He was also a member of the Executive Bureau and General Council of the International Trade Union Confederation and a member of the Ministerial Council of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mr. Yussuff served on the Government of Canada’s NAFTA Council and its Sustainable Development Advisory Council. He also contributed to numerous other task forces and organizations, including as co-chair of the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Disability Management and Research. He was recently appointed to the Net-Zero Advisory Body by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. He has recently been part of the Industry Advisory Roundtable on COVID-19 Testing, Screening, Tracing and Data Management and the COVID Communications Partners Roundtable.

Mr. Yussuff and the Canadian Labour Congress, with their tripartite partners, are recipients of the 2021 Canadian Freedom of Association Award for their instrumental collaboration in Canada’s 2017 ratification of the International Labour Organization’s Convention No. 98. Mr. Yussuff has been a recent recipient of the Pearson Centre Progressive Leadership Award. He has also received honorary Doctorate of Laws from Brock University and Ryerson University.

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