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was elected president of the Canadian Labour Congress in May 2014, becoming the first person of colour to lead Canada’s labour movement. Delegates voted for change and powerful activism to confront the challenges facing unions across the country.
Since his election, Hassan has led Canada’s unions to a number of significant victories. It was under his leadership, for example, that the CLC launched an unprecedented and innovative digital and community-based campaign that put labour’s issues front and centre in the 2015 federal election, and helped defeat the Conservatives.
At the heart of the CLC’s federal election campaign was the call for a stronger Canada Pension Plan, a struggle that has been Hassan’s passion for almost a decade. After the election, the CLC redoubled its retirement security campaign efforts, while Hassan worked with the new federal government and with provincial and territorial leaders to gain their support. That campaign and lobby work led to victory in November 2016 with the tabling of Bill C-26, legislation that expanded the CPP for the first time in its history.
Making workplaces and public spaces safer has been another key priority for Hassan. He was exposed to asbestos as a mechanic in his early working life, and as a union activist learned that asbestos-related diseases are the number one cause of workplace-related deaths in Canada. As CLC President, Hassan campaigned hard for a comprehensive ban on asbestos, a ban we won in December 2016.
As well as his work in Canada, Hassan is a prominent international activist. In 2016, he was elected for a second term as president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, an organization uniting 56 national organizations representing more than 60 million workers in 23 countries.
Determined to build a better world for future generations, Hassan is committed to the fight against climate change and to ensuring a just and fair transition for the workers and communities affected by the evolution to a green economy.
The CLC is the voice of Canada’s labour movement, representing 3.3 million workers.