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Labour Day message
National President Judy Darcy

This Labour Day, its clear that CUPEs stronger than it was two years ago or ten years ago. Weve won major victories at the bargaining table. Weve succeeded in stopping the sell-off of many vital public services. Weve continued to grow and to organize new members.

But its also clear the threats are growing daily. Governments and employers have grown more brazen, their attacks on our members more calculated.

To stop the right wing agenda strengthening public services, expanding Medicare, protecting our jobs and rights we need to be tough and we need to be smart.

We need to continue to build strong local unions, because our strength comes from our half million members. Speeches by leaders are not enough. We all know its easy to talk the talk. Real power comes from mobilizing members to take action for themselves, in every workplace, local and community, to demonstrate that were prepared to walk the walk.

We need to forge the broadest coalitions we have ever built to defend our rights and democracy itself because thats exactly whats at stake. Working closely with other unions and our social allies, we need to reach out to involve more youth, First Nations peoples, workers of colour and the poor.

We need to strengthen strike support, with solid bargaining and strike strategies that give us more clout. We need to show employers that when you take on CUPE you take on all of CUPE. Every single strike must be a rallying point for our union and the labour movement not just solidarity pickets but solidarity walkouts where needed.

We need to build on our success in fighting privatization. Were the union the right loves to hate because weve been so successful in thwarting their plans to carve up public services for private profit. Locally and globally, we need to force governments to back away from the corporate agenda and reinvest in our common wealth. We need to ensure that trade serves the interests of people and not the corporate elite.

We also need to show courage, and that includes being prepared to take part in civil disobedience and economic disruption. To build massive resistance, we need to be strategic, organized and well prepared, building support for our actions, member by member, local by local.

And on Labour Day, its also important to remember that we need a strong, effective labour movement. We need to find new ways to cooperate amongst unions to organize new members and collectively take on common causes.

Sisters and brothers, this year, we have our work cut out for us. But I cant think of another union better prepared for battle.