On Saturday, June 27, 2020, CUPE PEI held its 40th Division Convention online through the Zoom platform.
“With this one-day virtual Convention, we demonstrate CUPE PEI’s commitment as being a member-driven union which goes above and beyond to maintain its internal democracy,” said Leonard Gallant, President of CUPE PEI. “I am particularly proud of the solidarity shown when the delegates made a resolution to support Black Lives Matter and also voted on approving the CUPE Atlantic Maritimes Indigenous Council,” said Gallant.
“This first-of-its kind council for Indigenous CUPE members spanning four provinces marks a significant step forward for CUPE’s commitment to furthering reconciliation in the labour movement,” added Gallant.
The 70 delegates present voted unanimously in favour of both resolutions which decisively set CUPE PEI as a participant and ally of Black, Indigenous and People of colour (BIPOC) struggles for justice and fairness.
“CUPE PEI is proud to say we will go beyond “denouncing racism” and actually strike at the root of oppression and discrimination in and outside our workplaces,” said Gallant.
The Convention has given CUPE PEI the mandate to fully participate, and coordinate with coalitions, other provincial labour bodies, campaigns and other political organizing activities that promote and defend the rights of BIPOC communities.
Delegates debated on three constitutional amendments and seven resolutions, four of which were focused on the importance of properly funded long-term care for all. CUPE National President Mark Hancock and CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury both delivered their speeches and celebrated CUPE PEI’s strong resolutions. “I was quite proud to see CUPE PEI vote on such clear, bold and necessary resolutions. This call for solidarity and social justice is at the essence of our movement,” said Mark Hancock.
“Zoom AGMs will never equal our ordinary in-person conventions, but under the current extraordinary circumstances, I can say this was a solid one,” said Gallant.
After CUPE NB, CUPE PEI is now the second CUPE provincial Division to ever hold a virtual annual convention.