WINNIPEG – Over 500 labour and social activists from across the country are in Winnipeg this week for CUPE’s second National Human Rights Conference. The four day conference will highlight the role unions have in fighting racism and all forms of discrimination.
“Defending human rights is at the very core of what unions do every day. While we’ve made strides, we still have much work to do to end discrimination in our society, evident by the recent attention on the discrimination experienced by Aboriginal people here in Winnipeg,” said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE.
The conference kicks off Thursday night with guest speaker NDP MP Romeo Saganash, followed by three more days of panel discussions and workshops with a diverse group of activists sharing their experiences and insight on advancing human rights in Canada and around the world.
Other speakers and panelists include: author and commentator Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair; human rights activist and newly elected Toronto School Board Trustee Ausma Malik; NDP MP Jinny Sims; Chairperson of the Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners Yvonne Peters; and Manitoba Minister of Jobs and the Economy Kevin Chief.
“Let us open our second Human Rights Conference with a commitment to all CUPE members to fight hard in bargaining and to pursue equality in all aspects of our union work,” said Moist while welcoming conference participants during Thursday’s opening plenary. “And let us pursue labour rights for all workers throughout the globe. Remember labour rights are human rights, and human rights are labour rights.”
Conference participants will also be visiting the recently opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and are invited to a Manitoba Social on Saturday night.
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