A lot of things have changed since the last federal election in 2015. Back then, many workers felt that Canada had finally turned a corner by ending Stephen Harper’s 9-year reign.
Leaving aside the fact that Justin Trudeau didn’t deliver on his progressive agenda—for women, for Indigenous peoples, for workers, for voters—there is a lot at stake for CUPE members in election 2019. In his column, Brother Mark Hancock smartly points out what CUPE members should be watching for come October.
Yes, Stephen Harper may be gone. But his disciples have gained power across the country. Right-wing governments and ideas are spreading. CUPE members are facing many challenges.
During the Ontario provincial election, Doug Ford promised that under his government “not a single person will lose their job.” We now know that was a lie.
We’ve already seen front line job losses in the health care system. The education system has also been targeted.
In Alberta, Jason Kenney is fast-tracking reversal of the progressive changes made by the NDP government.
Conservative governments everywhere are doing all they can to dismantle environmental protection measures. As if climate change wasn’t real.
And workers are under attack. Workers’ rights, workers’ wages and workers’ safety. They are rolling back the minimum wage increase. They want to make it harder for workers to unionize.
But CUPE is fighting back. Together with our allies, we are organizing and campaigning. Not only because these changes will hurt CUPE members. But because these changes will hurt other workers, non-unionized workers, even more. They will hurt families, and they will hurt communities. Our communities.
CUPE will continue to stand with all workers for safe working conditions, for a living wage, for decent benefits and pensions. CUPE will continue to fight for accessible, affordable public services for all.
Because CUPE fights back. We always have. We always will.
And we have the tools to do it. For the first time in history, our National Strike Fund has reached a hundred million dollars.
Locals across this country can be confident that CUPE National can support them when they need it. We have the resources to support our members if they must take strike action. Employers know it. Governments know it.
This is the power of a pan-Canadian union of 680,000 members—and growing—from every sector and region in the country.
Yes, 2019 will be full of challenges. But know one thing: at CUPE, we are ready to take them on.