CUPE Womens’ Conference Fights For Women’s Rights
CUPE launched a major political offensive to fight for women’s jobs, public services and rights at its 5th Women’s Conference held November 13-16 in Ottawa.
“Every poll that’s published these days makes it crystal clear that the vast majority of women are opposed to what right wing governments are doing to health care and to our children’s education. It’s what pollsters and politicians call the “gender gap”,” said Judy Darcy, National President of CUPE in her opening address to over 300 delegates from across Canada.
CUPE represents over a quarter of a million women. “Just think for a minute about the potential power those 275,000 CUPE women have. Women in hundreds of different occupations. Women in thousands of workplaces and communities across this land,” said Darcy.
CUPE has just launched a major national campaign against privatization. The week-end’s conference looked at successful actions being waged by CUPE women now and a national action program to put women and equality issues in the forefront of CUPE’s fightback against privatization.
“Good jobs, decent paying jobs with pensions, are slowly but steadily disappearing in this country. Specifically good public sector jobs that have historically been held by women are being eliminated. Part-time, casual, or contracted-out to the private sector jobs are replacing full time public sector jobs. These new job ghettos have no security, low pay, and few, if any benefits at all” said Darcy.
“Ten years ago, CUPE represented 356,000 members. 55,000 of those members worked part-time. In the last ten years, CUPE’s membership has increased by about 100,000 members to 460,000 members overall. In that same 10-year period, the percentage of part-time members has gone up by a staggering 118%. Today, CUPE represents 120,000 part-time workers 007400680065 overwhelming majority of whom are women,” Darcy added.
“That’s why we are declaring - at this conference - that CUPE women are going on a major offensive. The rich and powerful have declared war on women’s rights.0061nd we’re here to say we’re just not gonna take it any more ,” concluded Darcy.