Mark Hancock delivered a powerful message to delegates at CUPE Saskatchewan’s annual convention in Saskatoon.

Acknowledging that workers are facing incredible challenges as they fight for wages that keep up with rampant inflation, defend attacks on human rights, and face the climate crisis head on, Hancock focused on CUPE’s power to make change, saying “As Canada’s biggest, strongest union, we have tremendous power – but we also have a tremendous responsibility”.

As conservative politicians seek to distract and divide workers by sowing hate and fear, unions have the opportunity and the responsibility to speak out and fight back, and CUPE has never shied away from that responsibility.

Hancock noted the clear political trends he has seen as CUPE’s National President. “When we elect New Democrats, federally and provincially, they invest in public services and in the workers that deliver them, and they stand up for workers’ rights and human rights,” said Hancock, “but everywhere New Democrats don’t hold power, those things are under attack.”

He also acknowledged the progress being made in Ottawa under the supply and confidence agreement, where the NDP has secured anti-scab legislation and the greatest expansion of our social safety in more than a generation, with a dental care program, paid sick leave, and now pharmacare.

Hancock celebrated the activism of CUPE Saskatchewan members, and stressed that the province cannot afford another four years of Scott Moe and the Sask party. He called on delegates to work to elect Carla Beck and the Saskatchewan NDP this October.

He concluded by reminding us of Jack Layton’s final words, that love is better than anger, hope is better than despair. Adding that sometimes love, hope and optimism isn’t enough, he said “We know how to educate, organize, and mobilize our members to win at the bargaining table. We do it every single day in the workplace. And now, more than ever, we need to do it at the ballot box, too.”