Sisters and Brothers:
As 2010 ends we offer this message of solidarity to all members of the CUPE family.
As determined by our 2009 National Convention, 2010 was the Year of the Steward and our first thank you goes to all CUPE Stewards, Sisters and Brothers who day in and day out stand up for our members in the workplace. Thousands of you participated in steward training this year, and we thank you for your commitment to CUPE.
We also thank our thousands of local union and Division Officer’s, and our staff for their tireless efforts day in and day out, defending our rights in the workplace and defending public services.
Our thoughts are with the members of Local 4576, in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick locked out by their employer some six months ago, our only group currently on the picket line.
Our thoughts are also with other workers, such as the 1,000 Steelworkers locked out by US Steel in Hamilton, Ontario, with the employer demanding pension concessions.
We also pledge our solidarity with the 11 million Canadian workers without a workplace pension, and vow to continue to fight for retirement with dignity for all Canadians.
Working with the Canadian Labour Congress, our national campaign to expand the Canada Pension Plan suffered a setback with the federal government doing an about face on the eve of a meeting of Canada’s finance ministers.
Notwithstanding this, we have the support of more than half of the provinces and the campaign will continue until we win improved pensions for all Canadian workers.
Finally, beyond the borders of our country, we offer our solidarity to workers throughout the world, particularly those in Haiti. Many workers are fighting globalization and the concessions it demands, and we will continue our global justice work in support of these struggles.
We wish each of you a peaceful festive season and all the best in 2011.
As our union enters its 48th year, we resolve to continue to organize, bargain hard and to fight privatization and defend the public services that Canadians value and deserve.
CUPE National President
CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer