Demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro protest parts of Brazil’s largest water system being auctioned off to private buyers, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Photo: Public Services International
The 2020-2021 edition of our annual report on CUPE’s international solidarity work is focused on the impact and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. It tells the story of some very difficult situations for our friends, allies and comrades, and reminds us why CUPE’s commitment to the global labour movement is so important. 
The global pandemic is a significant moment in history. COVID-19 has brutally exposed the many ways that the dominant economic model and current public policies have failed to meet people’s needs around the world. We feel the urgency of this moment, and the possibilities it presents us as workers and trade unionists. The labour movement must keep working with our allies to push for a just and equitable global recovery that transforms our society, instead of simply returning to business as usual. 
The pandemic has also emphasized how deeply connected we all are. Whether it’s advocating for universal access to vaccines, defending free collective bargaining, standing in solidarity with Indigenous peoples or fighting privatization, our actions as CUPE members connect us with a global movement of workers and allies who are resisting the same powerful forces and fighting for the same shared vision of a better world.
Our union is proud to stand with activists resisting right-wing governments and corporations. We’ve clearly seen the power of the people over the past year. Popular movements made up of Indigenous peoples, women’s groups, young people and unions have taken to the streets in many countries. The incredible courage of workers and social movements in countries like Brazil, Burma, Colombia, Haiti, India, Palestine and the Philippines inspires us and calls us to action. 
In Canada and around the world, people are organizing and resisting in profound and significant ways as they challenge power and demand genuine democracy and justice. It is a privilege to struggle alongside these workers and community members in our collective fight for human and labour rights, decent work, strong public services, peace and climate justice.