About 200 delegates heard inspiring reports from three international trade unionists facing daily danger as they promote human and trade union rights. They spoke about desperate conditions in Burma, Colombia and South Africa and how courageous unionists are organizing to protect or advance social justice.
Brother Mariano Jose Guerra, with the Colombian National Federation of Public Sector Workers, called on CUPE members to stop a Canadian government plan to sign a trade agreement with Colombia, as “we want the same path of change as other Latin American countries – the path of democracy and social justice.”
Comrade Nomvula Hadi, Deputy President of South Africa Municipal Workers Union noted that after 15 years of independence, “the poor remain poor, while the rich get richer.” She said she was “so proud, so very proud” of how women play and important and respected role in CUPE.
Brother Saw Kwehsay, Information and Campaign Coordinator for Peace Way Foundation spoke about how “Burma is ruled by one of the world’s most brutal regimes,” but that CUPE support is helping document human rights abuses and build organizational capacity.