CUPE Ontario’s International Solidarity Committee participated in a rally organized in solidarity with South African miners in Toronto in August 2012. Activists gathered outside the South African consulate to condemn the massacre of over 45 striking mineworkers at the Marikana Platinum Mine, near Rustenburg South Africa.
On August 16, 2012, police opened fire on thousands of striking workers from this mine. They killed more than 45 workers, and wounded and arrested dozens more.
The mine is owned by U.K.-based Lonmin Corporation, the world’s third largest platinum producer. The workers were striking for better working conditions and compensation.
CUPE Manitoba’s Global Justice Committee partnered with NGOs, community groups and individuals to mark World AIDS Day in 2012. This year’s theme Bridging the Gaps focused on ways to address the need for testing, services and resources. An evening event included a multi-media community presentation that showcased how HIV & AIDS issues are addressed in Manitoba and around the world. Many partners contributed to the event’s success: Nine Circles Community Health Centre, The CUPE Manitoba Global Justice Committee, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba, The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the 595 Prevention Team, Rainbow Resource Centre, Manitoba First Nations AIDs Working Group (MFNAWG), Focus Africa, Grands ‘n’ More, Sexual Education Resource Center (SERC) and Klinic.
On International Human Rights Day, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and several national unions joined civil liberties’ groups to demand the Canadian government uphold its legal obligations under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international laws, and “act immediately” to “Free the Three” and all the other security certificate detainees.
Three men, Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohamed Harkat and Mohammad Mahjoub, have been detained and held under house arrest in Canada for more than 10 years under the government’s security certificates. They have never been charged with any crime.
A security certificate is a legal tool that allows the Canadian government to detain and deport permanent residents or foreign nationals who they consider to be a security threat using secret evidence that neither the accused nor their lawyer are allowed to see.
At a Saskatoon event organized by CUPE, labour, refugee and peace advocates wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Harper, expressing their anger over the government’s treatment of immigrants.
Margarita Lopez, President of SINTRACUAVALLE, a water workers’ union in Colombia, attended the CUPE Nova Scotia and CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador Division Conventions in May 2013. Sister Lopez was accompanied by Sister Barbara Wood, CoDevelopment Canada’s Executive Director and CUPE 1004 member.
CUPE Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Global Justice Committee have a project with SINTRACUAVALLE supporting a citizen education and organizing campaign to oppose the privatization of the water sector in Colombia.
In a show of international support CUPE New Brunswick’s Global Justice Committee has initiated a letter writing campaign in support of Filipino political prisoner Charity Dino. Dino is a teacher and organizer who was teaching peasant farmers to read and write before her unjust detention in 2009. At the time of her arrest she was preparing for and inviting people to attend events for “Poor Peasants’ Week” in the region where she worked.