Pride Toronto has officially agreed that it will not hire contractors or organize volunteers to do the work normally performed by CUPE members in clean-up after the Pride events. This includes cleaning parade routes after both the Dyke March and Pride Parade. In previous years, major clean-up of the Pride Festival public spaces has been performed by Toronto municipal workers who, as CUPE members, are currently taking strike action against the city.
For many years, the labour movement and CUPE, in particular, have stood alongside the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities, supported demands for human rights’ recognition, same-sex benefits, equality before the law, and for the right to marry.
“As a long-time labour activist and as a gay man, I know how hard the labour movement has fought alongside activists in our communities for the Human Rights of queer and trans people,” says CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Fred Hahn. “In CUPE, we are very proud of our record of being in the forefront of advancing equality, providing moral and organizational support for the LGBT communities.”
Pride Toronto acknowledges the support of both the City of Toronto and CUPE for LGBT communities and Pride Celebrations, and wishes both sides a speedy resolve to the strike. “Pride Toronto has no desire to be involved in any way with the dispute between the City of Toronto and CUPE,” said Pride Toronto Executive Director Tracey Sandilands.
Fred Hahn CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer 416-540-3979