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MONTREAL – Canada’s largest union has sent a strong message to employers and governments at its national convention – “don’t mess with CUPE”.

Delegates to the convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees demonstrated they’re determined to fight privatization, step-up organizing efforts and make real progress at the bargaining table.

As well, they agreed to inject an added $20 million to the National Defence Fund to ensure that members who are forced on strike to defend their jobs and win a fair wage will continue to have the full support of their union. Proving they’re willing to walk the walk’, delegates made immediate cash donations of $200,000 to support striking municipal workers in Verdun, Quebec, who have been on the picket line for 13 months.

But decisions to protect jobs and services weren’t limited to the picket line. The 1,600 delegates adopted an action plan that takes on the right-wing attack on workers’ rights and living standards by debunking tax cut myths, resisting concessions, rejecting privatization and mobilizing against funding cuts. As well, they adopted policies to protect public control of our municipal water systems and reject so-called “public private partnerships” that have led to higher costs, buck-passing and job loss.

Delegates also approved plans to fight racism in the workplace and to promote opportunities for youth, creating jobs and improving services for young people.

Delegates unanimously adopted resolutions calling for a national child care program and federal action to promote a viable Canadian airline industry, in which 9,000 CUPE members are employed as flight attendants.

Judy Darcy was re-elected to a fifth term as CUPE’s National President.

CUPE represents 475,000 workers in health care, education, municipalities, social services, utilities, libraries, airlines and emergency services. CUPE’s biennial convention ran October 18-22.

For further information, contact:
Catherine Louli, or Robert Fox

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To view the convention’s daily newsletter, policy papers, and the convention photo gallery, click here.