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CUPE members from across Newfoundland and Labrador headed home yesterday as their annual convention wrapped in Grand Falls-Windsor, but not before raising almost $11,000 for a sister union in Central America.

President Wayne Lucas says, “Our delegates and our locals were so inspired by a presentation from Margarita Lopez, the president of a municipal water workers union in Colombia and our international guest, that they pledged the money for a project in that country.”

Lucas says, “We learned of important work that CUPE Nova Scotia is supporting in Colombia where Lopez’s union is fighting the privatization of its municipal water system, amidst widespread corruption and even violence.

The convention heard that Lopez herself has to travel with bodyguards and that Colombia is actually considered the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a union leader,” he explains.

Lucas says they’ll take that $11,000 and apply to CUPE National’s Global Justice Fund for additional funding and hope to join with Nova Scotia in assisting the Colombian union in its fight to protect public water.