BURNABY On the occasion of International Womens Day 2004, CUPE women in British Columbia are preparing to let the B.C. Liberal government know that they are angry and getting angrier.
They have been taking aim at working women since the Liberal takeover in June 2001, CUPE BC secretary-treasurer Colleen Jordan said. How can Gordon Campbell and his cabinet, particularly the ministers of labour and community, aboriginal and womens services, show their face in public after the devastation they have brought on the women of this province?
Ministers Graham Bruce and Murray Coell have presided over the dismantling of gains that B.C. women fought hard to achieve, including pay equity, Jordan said. They and others have broken promises made to women. They have slashed services to mothers, their children, grandmothers, abused women and working women.
This governments vicious cuts to services not only affect a majority of women workers in social services and community health, they also affect the poorest, most marginalized in our society women and aboriginal women in particular, said Debbie Taylor, CUPE BC womens committee chair.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women had good reason to single out the B.C. government in 2002 for the regressive steps taken on issues of womens equality, Taylor said.
CUPE BC is hearing from unions and women across this province that they are fed up with having to re-fight the same issues of equality over and over again.
We feel like the Liberals are putting us in the position of fighting for our very survival as women, workers, mothers, sisters and grandmothers, Taylor said. Women in this province are in the fight for our lives in the streets, at home and at work.
Between now and election day in May 2005, the womens committee will be developing strategies to let the government know just what CUPE BC women mean when they say, women will not be silenced.
Colleen Jordan, CUPE BC secretary-treasurer, 604-291-9119,
Debbie Taylor, Chair, CUPE BC Womens Committee, 250-830-7919.