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What are you doing this December 6, the International Day of Remembrance and Action to End Violence Against Women? CUPE locals across the country are taking up the challenge in actions, small and large.

The Air Transat component of CUPE’s Airline Division is taking on the issue by ensuring their contract language is inclusive and supports the issues women in their workplace experience. Seventy per cent of the component’s 1,140 members flight attendants for Air Transat are women.

We have opened up our harassment language to specifically define situations where work performance is impaired, the employment relationship is adversely affected and the individual’s dignity and respect is denied, says component Vice-President David Gwilt. As well, we recognize that when a woman is abused, the abuse doesn’t just stay in the home. We have to address its effects in the workplace.

CUPE members at Toronto’s Association for Community Living contribute to the fight to end violence against women by making donations, which are built into the local’s budget and passed yearly.

Each and every year for International Women’s Day, we make a donation to the women’s shelter in the community where our members work, says CUPE Local 2191 President Fred Hahn. As well, each month the local makes a donation to the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. NAC’s work is vital to fighting for women’s equality across Canada. It is women’s inequality that is at the root of violence against women.

In New Brunswick, there are a lot of ongoing actions that recognize December 6 says Pat Hay, National Women’s Committee representative.

December 6 is always recognized at the labour council meeting, says Hay. We also wear pins and ribbons to mark the day and we’ve put together ’first night’ kits for the women’s shelter with personal items for women who come there with nothing. At work, we have a message sent over email recognizing the day so people will not forget.

In Moncton, Hay says, thanks to the work of a CUPE member at the local hospital, they have a monument that remembers not only the women who died on December 6 in Montreal but as well, any women who have died locally as a result of violence.

Send us your CUPE stories about what you, your local or your community is doing to end violence against women so we can share your ideas.

Email equality@cupe.ca, phone (613) 237-1590 or write CUPE’s Equality Branch, 2l Florence Street, Ottawa,

K2P 0W6.