The union representing Montreal blue-collar workers, CUPE 301, took a historic step this afternoon by taking down the statue of former union president Jean Lapierre, which was erected in front of their building on Papineau Street.

“CUPE 301 is more than the history of just one man—we encompass thousands of City of Montreal workers who have stood tall over the years to obtain better working conditions. In a world where inequalities continue to increase, we have taken this strong action to remind everyone that we are the friend of the people and that we want a society that takes everyone’s interests to heart,” says union president Luc Bisson.

With this strong and symbolic action, the union wants to send a message that they embody a renewed movement.

“We want to redefine the public image of CUPE 301. We’re not only a union ready to mobilize for members, we also want to make a difference for all workers,” says Bisson.

Jean Lapierre headed the Montreal union for 20 years. His statue was erected in 2003 following his retirement.  

“We want to take the time to collectively reflect on how the statue should be set up. We can’t erase history, but we can recount it differently,” says Bisson.