B.C.’s largest union celebrated hard fought wins for working people in the past year at the opening night of its 2024 CUPE BC convention. Karen Ranalletta, president of CUPE BC, welcomed members from across the province gathering in Vancouver for the union’s annual convention.

“We have so much to be proud of, and also, so much important work to do in the year ahead,” said Ranalletta, in her opening address to almost 500 convention delegates. “I want to recognize this important work—what we do every day— to make life better for working people.”

Over the four-day convention, delegates will discuss a wide range of issues affecting public services in the province and the workers that provide them - over 100,000 CUPE members in B.C. With both federal and provincial elections on the horizon, political action will also be a key topic.

“CUPE members are on the front lines of both the effects of conservative attacks on working people, and the movements of everyday citizens fighting back against the politics of hate and division. Because it is hate and division, self-interest and selfishness, greed and bias, that are the tools of anti-worker governments, whose goal is to divide us against ourselves,” said Ranalletta as she outlined the political challenges facing CUPE members in B.C. and across Canada.

 “How we respond matters: we must reply with unity, cooperation, kindness, compassion, and most of all solidarity,” said Ranalletta, rallying convention delegates to prepare for the coming provincial election campaign this fall. “What government we wake up to the morning after this election is in our hands.”

The 2024 CUPE BC Convention continues until Saturday. Delegates will be welcoming several guest speakers, including CUPE National President Mark Hancock, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, Washington State Labour Council President April Sims, and B.C. Premier David Eby.