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Labour Day message
Sister Geraldine McGuire
National Secretary-Treasurer

Celebrating workers and their unions many accomplishments is what Labour Day is all about. Without the courage, strength and solidarity of the women and men who make up this union and the labour movement, wed all still be working in sweatshop conditions.

The rights and working conditions weve won through more than a century of struggle are under attack across the country. Our right to respect, to earn a fair wage and to protect our jobs is being challenged as governments and employers try to gut the laws and collective agreements that protect us. As a result, were seeing longer and larger strikes and more campaigns to defend our jobs and our rights.

So this Labour Day, were calling upon CUPE locals to look seriously at the future of our National Defence Fund and consider how best we can strengthen it to ensure that every CUPE member has the support of the national union when they need it most.

The National Executive Board has proposed a series of amendments to CUPEs constitution that would create a separate National Strike Fund and ensure this fund has a solid financial foundation for the future. Building this base will mean a continued sacrifice for CUPE members, but we believe it is a commitment our members are prepared to make.

With national convention only three months away, were calling on CUPE locals to take time this month to discuss the reform package that will be mailed to you in the coming weeks. At meetings of your local, in work site meetings and in your newsletters, were encouraging you to make every effort to reach out and ensure our members understand and support these proposals.

CUPE has fought many battles and were facing many more. This Labour Day and every day, we want to ensure we can protect all our members and send a clear message to management: CUPE has the clout we need to fight and win.