On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we resolve to renew our efforts as a Union to stand up against racism in our communities and in our workplaces. It’s a day to recognize the human suffering caused by the injustice and stigma of racism, and it’s a day to renew our efforts to make our workplaces and all levels of our union reflective of diversity.
Unions bring workers together in solidarity to fight for fairness– working to break down economic and social inequalities, advocating for improved access to public services, taking action to defend workers’ rights and human rights, and standing together to confront hate, fear, and discrimination in all its forms. This work continues in the knowledge that all of us have a role to play in ending racism and championing human rights, understanding that together in solidarity we can make lasting structural change in our society that ends systemic racism.
The COVID-19 health crisis has exposed how deeply rooted inequalities, discrimination, and systemic racism cause disproportionate health impacts and greater loss of life among Indigenous, Black, racialized communities, and disadvantaged groups. Unequal access and underinvestment in public services, unequal living conditions and a lack of public housing by governments, and an economy that places profit before people shows the urgent need for a recovery from the pandemic that demands a more just and equitable future.
The General Assembly of the UN proclaimed March 21 the International Day for the Elimination of Racism by resolution adopted in 1966. The day commemorates the incident on March 21 in 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people and wounded 180 others while they were peacefully demonstrating against apartheid “pass laws” in the township of Sharpeville, South Africa. Unions were at the heart of the anti-apartheid movement, and unions such as CUPE remain dedicated to being at the heart of the fight against racism.
Racism only divides us. As union members, we know that in solidarity there is strength.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
- Read the Canadian Labour Congress report on Islamophobia and how to fight it in the workplace.
- CUPE’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination poster.
- Support the Migrant Rights Network in their campaign for justice for migrant workers in the age of Coronavirus. Sign their petition and share with your networks.
- CUPE National Resources on Racial Equality and Diversity: www.cupe.ca/racial-equality
Published by the Division Office / nm cope 342