Diversity, Our Strength 2021 CoverDownload a copy of the brochure here.

We can defeat discrimination.

CUPE represents thousands of Black, Indigenous and racialized workers in Canada. We work hard to make sure Black, Indigenous and racialized workers have the same opportunities as other workers.

We oppose underemployment and underrepresentation of Black, Indigenous and racialized workers, and we’ve taken action to make our workplaces and all levels of our union reflect Canada’s diverse and changing demographics.

This is what we do to promote racial justice:

• Support reconciliation and justice for all Indigenous peoples.
• Offer human rights, anti-oppression and anti-racism training.
• Promote union participation in cultural events and days of action.
• Host conferences to promote workers and human rights.
• Lobby government on immigration, refugee and migrant worker policies.
• Bargain employment equity in our collective agreements.
• Develop workplace harassment policies.
• Improve accommodation for cultural and religious needs in the workplace.
• Encourage increased diversity on our local and national executives.

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

Racism, discrimination, 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, union and communities deny participation, advancement or equality for Black, Indigenous and racialized workers. Sometimes it’s unconscious or unintentional, and it may go 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 must 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 bias might be discriminatory.
• Become an ally. An ally is someone who actively supports Black, Indigenous and racialized folks facing challenges. Being an ally is effective. It helps strengthen relationships in the workplace and union and helps put an end to discrimination and racism.
• 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.