The past year has shaken our world to its core. Even before the global pandemic hit, it was clear that workers and trade unions are at the heart of the fight for public services, fair wages and decent working conditions. COVID-19 has fully exposed how essential workers and public services are to our communities, our collective well-being, and our survival.
Living through COVID-19 has also strengthened our resolve. CUPE stands in solidarity with workers organizing for communities and workplaces to be free from discrimination and oppression, and for respect and justice. Our union is part of the struggle for a world where everyone’s needs are met, where there is no gap between rich and poor, and where governments make decisions that prioritize the public good, not private profits. We will keep pushing for a world where Indigenous rights are respected, where water and land are valued as a common good, and where safeguarding the environment is a priority.
Across the globe, movements are demanding change. In the past year, we have seen protests for climate justice and respect for Indigenous rights, opposing austerity, privatization and corruption in Latin America and the Middle East, and against gender-based violence in Mexico, Chile and Pakistan. The pandemic has not stopped massive global mobilizations asserting that Black Lives Matter.
Our collective fight for economic and social justice knows no borders. Canadian workers demanding fair wages share common cause with public sector workers in the Philippines and garment workers in Bangladesh calling for minimum wages. The struggle for recognition of Indigenous rights in Canada is related to Indigenous resistance to land grabs in Colombia and Guatemala. Water privatization threatens communities everywhere.
Whatever the challenge, solidarity gives us power. CUPE works with unions and social movements internationally because we understand the need to stand together in our shared struggle toward a just world. Until all of us are free, none of us are free.