COURAGE members demonstrate against the political repression of union activists, February 2022. Their banner calls for the scrapping of Executive Order 70, which has been used to falsely accuse union organizers and human rights defenders of terrorism. Photo: Courage

The strength of our solidarity

The 2021-2022 edition of CUPE’s annual International Solidarity Report offers a snapshot of some of the most pressing issues in the world today, and how trade unions and social movements are responding. It captures the courage of our friends, allies and comrades around the world. They are at the heart of our collective struggle to face the global pandemic, respond to climate change, and ensure the rights and respect every worker and community member deserves.

There is much about the state of the world that is concerning. We are all feeling the impact of war and occupation in many parts of the world, including Ukraine, Burma, Yemen, Syria and Palestine. As rich nations including Canada begin to emerge from the pandemic with high vaccination rates and access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, corporate greed has meant many people, particularly those in poor countries, still cannot access vaccines and lifesaving treatments. In addition, the 2022 International Panel on Climate Change report issued a dire warning, sounding a global alarm that our time on this planet is limited if we do not act now. And activists and communities defending land rights, democracy and justice are being forced to fight for their lives and liberation. These are enormous struggles. But they are not insurmountable.

This report shows the strength of our solidarity. Through our work with trade unions, human rights defenders and communities around the world, we see our power as workers and how our collective strength can change the world. When we stand with activists resisting far-right governments and corporate power, we have an impact.

We are deeply inspired and proud to stand in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples, women’s groups, young people and unions who are joining forces and fighting back. People are organizing and resisting in profound and significant ways to challenge repressive power and to demand genuine democracy and justice.

It will always be a privilege to struggle alongside these workers and community members in our collective fight for human and labour rights, decent work, strong public services, land rights, peace and climate justice.