Hassan Yussuff


Canadian Labour Congress Secretary-Treasurer Hassan Yussuff has come from the factory floor of automotive manufacturing plants to the second-highest position in the country’s labour movement.

Hassan has a long history of remarkable achievements, becoming the CLC’s first person of colour elected to an executive position in 1999 as Executive Vice-President. He was then elected to the first of his four terms as Secretary-Treasurer in 2002.

Hassan has also been a highly active union leader in the international arena, leading to his recent election as president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) for a four-year term.

TUCA represents more than 50 million workers belonging to 50 active trade union affiliates in 29 countries, including Canada, the U.S., Brazil and nations in Latin America. TUCA belongs, in turn, to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), with headquarters in Brussels.

Hassan started his international activism by visiting South Africa in 1991 as part of a CLC delegation. He was then chosen as an observer to the first democratic South African elections in 1994 that saw Nelson Mandela become President of the formerly racially segregated nation.

In 1999, Hassan led a fact-finding delegation to East Timor whose work contributed to that country’s eventual independence from Indonesia. He was also an executive member of the United Nations’ North American Coordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine.

Born in Guyana, South America, Hassan Yussuff came to Canada as a young immigrant and later found work at the CanCar plant in Toronto – a bus, trailer, railway and aircraft manufacturer where he first became active in the labour movement.

Within a year he had become plant chairperson of Local 252 of the Canadian Auto Workers, the start of a series of key CAW positions, including being elected plant chairman of the General Motors Truck Centre. He later served as a staff representative in the organizing and service departments before being appointed as Director of the CAW Human Rights Department.

It was during those years that he also served on the CLC’s Executive Council and co-chaired the CLC Human Rights Committee.

Since becoming a CLC Executive member, Hassan has led delegations to the World Social Forums, where thousands of progressive individuals and organizations join in a common search for sustainable economic development that respects human, labour and environmental rights.

He is a member of the Advisory Committee on the International Labour Affairs known as ACILA, which advises Canada’s Minister of Labour on international labour matters.

He has also been President of the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (known by its Spanish-language acronym, COSATE), the trade union advisory committee of the Organization of American States (OAS) and has been a Governor of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).  Currently he sits on the Executive of COSATE.

Hassan complements his labour roles with deep community involvement, including being active with the United Way, where he has served on the National Board of Directors, and with the National Institute of Disability Management.