The Canadian Union of Public Employees is denouncing racism and xenophobia against Asian communities that has been on the rise since the outbreak of COVID-19.

CUPE Manitoba recently polled its members working in health care and found that one in five of its members of Asian descent said they’d been victims of racism in the workplace since the outbreak - compared with one per cent of those from non-Asian backgrounds. Unfortunately, evidence of this intolerance can be found in all types of workplaces and corners of life across Canada.

CUPE is especially disappointed to see a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada stoking xenophobic conspiracy theories against Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer, and against people of Asian descent.

In this difficult moment, CUPE stands in solidarity with those who are increasingly the targets of racism and discrimination.

CUPE reaffirms the important role that unions play in fighting racism and discrimination in our workplaces and our communities. It is important for our members facing any form of harassment, discrimination and or racism to contact their local steward or executive member to file a complaint and or grievance.

One thing is clear: racism is never acceptable, anywhere.

During this time of worldwide turmoil and uncertainty, we need global and local cooperation. CUPE looks forward to celebrating the contributions by members of Asian communities during Asian Heritage Month this May.