We can defeat discrimination.

CUPE represents thousands of racialized workers in Canada. We work hard to make sure they have the same opportunities as other workers. We oppose underemployment and underrepresentation of racialized workers, and we’ve taken action to make our workplaces and all levels of our union reflective of Canada’s diverse and changing demographics.

This is what we do to promote racial justice:

  • Offer human rights and anti-racism training
  • Promote union participation in cultural events and days of action
  • Host conferences to promote worker and human rights
  • Lobby government on immigration and refugee policies
  • Bargain employment equity in our collective agreements
  • Develop workplace harassment policies
  • Improve accommodation for cultural and religious needs in the workplace
  • Ensure diversity on our National Executive Board

But… many people still face racism in the workplace every day.

Racism, bullying and harassment still occur daily in our workplaces and our communities. Racist behaviour and attitudes are hateful and destructive. Employers and co-workers might look the other way and pretend it’s not happening. It’s up to us to confront racism and make sure it stops.

Systemic racism is less visible, but it’s a big problem. It happens when laws, rules, policies, or practices in our workplace and our communities deny participation, advancement, or equality for racialized workers. Sometimes it’s unconscious or unintentional, and goes unnoticed by anyone except its target.

Systemic racism means certain groups have a harder time getting hired or promoted based on their race, language, cultural differences, or country of origin. Often foreign credentials aren’t recognized, or inflated educational requirements prevent someone from getting a job. Sometimes employers unfairly require prior experience in Canada.

These are real problems. We have to confront them to achieve true equality.

What can I do?

  • Creating a workplace where everyone is treated equally isn’t easy. But there are lots of things you can do to promote equality:
  • Challenge yourself: consider how your own assumptions might be discriminatory.
  • Become an ally – someone who actively supports racialized groups facing challenges. Being an ally is simple and effective. It helps strengthen relationships in the workplace.
  • Speak out against racist acts like jokes, slurs, graffiti, or name-calling.
  • Challenge racist and discriminatory policies and practices in your workplace.
  • Participate in a union workshop on anti-racism practices, harassment, discrimination, or bullying. Invite someone to speak about anti-racism at your next union meeting.

For more information: cupe.ca/racial-equality.

Download a copy of the brochure.