Hassan Yussuff is the first person of colour to lead Canada’s union movement. After serving 15 years as Executive Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress, Hassan was elected President in 2014, and re-elected in 2017.
Over his two terms as President, Hassan has led Canada’s unions in a major campaign to improve workplace rights for everyone and dramatically transform the way Canadians view the labour movement.
Hassan has made Canada’s social programs a key focus of his presidency. Under his leadership, the Canada Pension Plan was expanded for the first time in history. In 2017, Hassan launched the CLC’s national pharmacare campaign calling for universal prescription drug coverage for all Canadians.
Making workplaces and public spaces safer has been another key priority for Hassan. He has championed legislation to grant paid leave for survivors of domestic violence, address harassment and violence in the workplace, enshrine rights for migrant workers, and enact a national ban on asbestos.
Hassan sat on the government’s NAFTA advisory panel, as part of an unprecedented involvement of Canada’s labour unions in the negotiations.
Hassan’s advocacy has also earned him an international platform as President of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, from which he continues to champion equity and workers’ rights around the world, challenge climate change and strive for a better world for future generations.
Shortly after immigrating from Guyana, Hassan became a union member in 1976. He was elected union chairperson in his workplace at the age of 19. He climbed through the ranks of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union before becoming the organization’s first Human Rights Director. This lifelong commitment to human rights has defined his career in the labour movement.See all speakers