(Truro) – As we mark another International Women’s Day (March 8th), the president of CUPE Nova Scotia says, “While women in the workforce have come a long way, unfortunately, they still have a long way to go.”
Danny Cavanagh says, “Women have lead the way for many years in the labour movement. Back on March 8, 1857 women from clothing and textile factories staged protests in New York City. The garment workers were protesting what they saw as very poor working conditions and low wages. The protesters were attacked and dispersed by police. These women established their first labour union in the same month two years later.
“In1975, which was designated as International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to and began sponsoring International Women’s Day. Today, many events are held by unions and women’s groups around the world,” he says.
“As the largest union in Canada, and one that is predominantly female, I am proud to say CUPE is doing a lot of ground breaking work in looking at women’s participation and representation at all levels of the union and within their own communities,” says Cavanagh.
“In 2005, we established the CUPE National Women’s Task Force which has now held 200 separate consultations and heard from over 2,000 members of the union across the country on how women can participate more effectively in the union,” he says.
Cavanagh says recent cuts by the Harper government to countless women’s programs and services across the country do not bode well for working women and those trying to join the workforce. “Can you imagine if these guys ever form a majority government,” asks Cavanagh. “It will be a very dark day for the women’s movement.”
Danny Cavanagh, CUPE Nova Scotia President - (902) 957-0822 (Cell); John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep. - (902) 455-4180 (o)