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This Labour Day the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is sending out the message to its half a million members that we must educate, agitate and organize for change.

These are anxious times in Canada, many social programs are being redefined by the Martin government due to the chronic under funding of the past decades. CUPE believes that there is an opportunity to affect meaningful change to core social programs like healthcare, explained Paul Moist, National President of CUPE. There is the risk that Canada becomes hostage to the interests of the privateers. Our members have seen many of our services severely strained due to cutbacks and our communities are starting to buckle under the pressure, he added.

By continuing the reckless privatization initiatives to our social programs, the Martin government threatens to further compromise its raison dt0072e. One of the basic roles of the federal government is to find solutions to key health areas such as home care, access to diagnostic services, shortening waiting lists and consideration of a national pharmacare program. Our union continues to be a part of these national debates, and Labour Day is an appropriate time to re-dedicate ourselves to the fight to retain and expand universal not-for-profit health services, said Moist.

As workers, we also take this day to reflect on our rights within the workplace. Our right to safe workplaces, our right to decent pensions to provide us dignity in our retirement years. And, perhaps most important of all, our right to free collective bargaining having a say in the setting of our wages, benefits and working conditions.

We will remain a strong and present force in the face of the privatization zealots. Prime Minister Paul Martin is implementing a conservative political agenda and now more than ever we will remind him of the vital role that public services play in the lives of Canadians everyday, concluded Moist.


For more information:
Paul Moist, CUPE National President, (613) 558-2873 (cell)
Catherine Louli, CUPE Communications, (613) 851-0547 (cell)