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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 20, 2023 at 2:59 PM




Every year on March 21, CUPE marks the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

And every day, CUPE members across the country continue to confront ongoing racism in our union, communities and workplaces, including racial profiling and criminalization, Islamophobia and anti-Semitic hate.

Black, Indigenous and racialized workers face discrimination in many aspects of their lives including inequities in employment and education opportunities, inadequate health care, precarious work, unequal access to public services, environmental racism and a lack of basic human rights for migrant workers.

At the same time, March 21 is a day to recognize the significant achievements of Black, Indigenous and racialized people in advancing equity and justice in our communities, our workplaces and our union. This includes our members, whose activism has strengthened our movement by bringing new ideas, perspectives and energy into the struggles of working people.

CUPE embraces our members, neighbours and friends. We reaffirm that unions play a vital role in fighting hatred and fear in Canada and around the world. Far-right, white supremacist groups have used the pandemic as cover to step up their mobilization, as we saw with the occupation of Ottawa and other ongoing disruptions in communities across the country. We must unite in solidarity to resist all right-wing attempts to spread racism and hate.

It is important for our members facing any form of racism, discrimination and/or harassment to contact their local steward or an executive member to file a complaint and/or grievance. It is equally important for locals to act promptly by listening to the member and ensuring that the complaint is brought through the entire grievance process.

CUPE stands strong with Black, Indigenous and racialized members experiencing racism. CUPE does not tolerate any harassing, racist or discriminatory remarks or acts of violence against anyone. Instead of division, we need global and local cooperation, and mutual aid.


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