Daniel Gawthrop | CUPE Communications

As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, Canadians found a number of ways, from nightly applause at seven o’clock to free hotel rooms and discount takeout meals, to thank frontline health care and other essential workers for going the extra mile to help others during the crisis.

In B.C., CUPE teamed up with LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics to thank members with a donation of scented bath bombs. Over two weeks in April, CUPE staff joined forces with sector activists to distribute more than 1,000 individually wrapped packages to community health locals in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

This included in-person visits to 13 worksites in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, and North Vancouver. With a CUPE tent set up outside—and physical distance guidelines observed—members took turns showing up to receive their LUSH products and a thank-you letter, along with an assortment of union products.

“The members appreciated being thanked this way during the pandemic,” said CUPE 15’s Mia Nickel.

“As well as enjoying the soap and some CUPE giveaways, it was a chance to connect with their union while getting a breath of fresh air. Members shared updates about their workplaces, provided their personal e-mails to help us keep in touch, and asked us questions we did our best to answer. I think they left these visits knowing that their union is looking out for them.”