EDMONTON – Custodial workers at Edmonton Public Schools distributed 10,000 white ribbons to school staff to raise awareness about violence against women during the National Campaign on Violence Against Women. This years campaign has expanded to all custodial workers within Black Gold Regional Division No.18 and all workers with Operation Friendship Seniors Society.
CUPE Local 474 President Doug Luellman said his union became more concerned about the issue ten years ago when a female custodial assistant, working alone, was violently attacked.
“We promised her we would do what we could so that kind of attack doesn’t happen to other women,” said Luellman. “The White Ribbon Campaign is part of that effort as we have linked up with the National White Ribbon Campaign which runs from December 3 to December 6 – the National Day of Remembrance.”
Luellman said that custodians and other workers in CUPE Local 474 distributed white ribbons and information about violence against women to all school board and senior services staff between November 28 and December 6. The material includes information about actions men can take to end violence against women.
“The white ribbon campaign calls upon men to recognize that this violence exists, and that we have to do something to stop it,” said Luellman.
“Real men stand up for their mothers, sisters, daughters and wives and say no to violence.”
The Edmonton Public Schools has sanctioned the campaign and is participating in it for the sixth year in a row. “We are pleased to be working together with our employer with something as important as this,” said Luellman. Luellman further stated “he is very proud now to have our members organized in the last year with Local 474 included with this educational campaign and with planting the seed, so to speak.”