“People across this country are waking up to the reality of systemic racism and joining social movements to fight it. People are outraged and they want change. They know what we have been talking about is true. There is no better time for political action than right now. We must put pressure on governments to act to stop the racism we have experienced and witnessed in this country.” - Don Monroe, Co-Chair, CUPE National Indigenous Council.
As Canada’s largest union, we know our power extends beyond the bargaining table. Taking our fight for justice and equity into the political arena is second nature.
We have witnessed a national awakening about racism and injustice in Canada over the past 18 months. But now is the time to turn that sentiment into concrete action.
That’s why CUPE’s new Anti-Racism Strategy calls on us to look beyond our workplaces and into the halls of political power to continue our fight for racial justice.
As public sector workers, CUPE members will not tolerate violence and harassment against Black, Indigenous and racialized community members when they need to access public services like health care, education and social services. Our Anti-Strategy calls for political action to ensure public services are safe and culturally sensitive for these communities.
It also calls upon CUPE to challenge governments on issues like the lack of quality of public services, privatization and precarious work that disproportionately affect racialized and Indigenous communities, and to demand accountability from governments that fail to address systemic racism in public services.
The Strategy also recognizes the importance of working with the NDP to encourage and support more Black, Indigenous and racialized people to run for elected office so that our parliaments reflect the communities they serve.
CUPE has an important role to play in empowering and supporting those efforts.
Between now and our National Convention later this month, ask how you and your Local can get more politically engaged to fight racism in your community.
This is the ninth in a series of ten features profiling the goals of CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy. Read the full series here.