CUPE international solidarity work in 2016-2017 has included worker-to-worker exchanges and solidarity with trade unions and social movements in Colombia, South Korea, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Guatemala and Honduras. Over the past year, we learned a great deal from our sisters and brothers in other countries, reaffirming our belief that our ability to defend public services and decent jobs in our communities depends on our ability to defend those same services and good jobs in countries around the world.

Privatization, contracting-out and contract flipping by multinational corporations, with headquarters in Canada, the US, Europe, China or elsewhere, are on the rise and negatively affecting workers all over the world. CUPE members across the country are increasingly affected by decisions made in these multinational corporate boardrooms.

Governments, including current federal and provincial governments in Canada, favour corporations who often receive multimillion-dollar contracts, funded in part by taxpayers. Austerity agendas and the international trade agreements imposed on us, falsely justify the need for the corporate sector to operate in the public sector for profit.

Workers’ rights, wages and conditions are being reduced to the lowest common denominator and workers are uniting to fight back everywhere.

It is in this context that workers have chosen to build alliances with workers across borders. CUPE National created the Global Justice Fund because we understand our power to fight back is strengthened through the relationships we build with CUPE members and with workers in other workplaces struggling for common causes, including workers in other countries.