Please CLICK HERE to view the Chapter’s May 2013 Newsletter, which includes links and articles. Thank you.
There will be a CBTU Ontario, Canada Chapter General Membership Meeting held on Monday April 22, 2013 at 6pm at the OFL on 4th floor. Please mark it in your calendars. We look forward to seeing you all there! If you require participation by telephone due to distance, please drop us a line for us to make arrangements.
Over 50 people from a variety of communities and unions gathered together to have an inter generational discussion on race and racism within the Canadian political system.
Many thanks to the co sponsors of the event: CBTU Ontario Men’s Committee along with PSAC Workers of Colour Caucus coordinated and hosted the event. Co sponsors were LATUC, ACLA OPSEU’s racially visible Caucus and the OFL. Irwin Nanda, OFL VP, Marie Clarke Walker CLC VP and Sharon DeSousa PSAC REVP and Alvin Curling Special Advisor to Minister of Children and Youth Services were present. Keynote speaker Mark Brown, a CBTU member, CUPW member and President of the Springdale NDP Riding Association presented the need for us to collectively look at the barriers to our community moving into the political arena but also motivated us to move forward with hope in an amazing presentation.
We want to take this time to especially thank Chris Wilson, Chair of the CBTU Ontario Men’s Committee , the PSAC staff and Lloyd Chair of PSAC Workers of Colour Caucus and their members for providing us with a safe venue where dialogue was open, honest, proactive and hopeful.
We look forward to the action plan results.
Mark Brown’s Speech is available here.
The event photos are also available on our Facebook Page.
Last month a number of Trade Unionists from Canada travelled to the second inauguration ceremony of President Barack Obama. While there we attended the American History Museum where we saw exhibits about the Emancipation and the March on Washington. What struck us about the exhibits was the connection of the two events to the labour movement and that of exploited workers.
Prior to1863 Slave labour was being used in both Canada and the United States to build the countries that many people of African descent call home. In his inauguration address, President Obama bridged the gap between Emancipation and the March on Washington while looking at events of the day. Making it very apparent that while some things have changed, much has also remained the same.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a promise from the government of the Day to Black Folks. One hundred years later in 1963, the March on Washington, was a message to the American government about their failure to deliver on that promise. 2013, one hundred and fifty years later and we are still looking for the fulfilment of those promises.
Here in Canada, it has been a long struggle to win positive change for our community, but an important struggle and we have made some gains. However, as a community we are still grossly under-represented in the life and structures of mainstream Canada. An integral part of the work that the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist does is to address racism, particularly anti-Black racism faced by people of African descent in the workplace. On a daily basis right across Canada, members of our community deal with the impact of colonialism, imperialism, slavery and the historical exploitation of our labour.
We have a long history of building the Canadian labour movement and fighting for social change which goes back hundreds of years.
As trade union members, we understand that all workers and people with little economic clout, are exploited by those with financial and political power. We can not therefore, separate the work we do on behalf of working people everywhere from the struggles of African and African descendants.
We must therefore, remind the “powers that be” of promises not yet filled and take time to celebrate all of our achievements and successes and hold them high for all to see.
So today, we celebrate the work of Black Trade Unionists in Canada, who together with our community leaders fought for changes.
We celebrate the Sleeping Car Porters; celebrate the establishment of Human Rights Commissions across the country; celebrate the legislative changes brought about in the 1950’s and 60’s; celebrate the battles to expose environmental racism; the fight for Employment Equity; celebrate the rights of domestic and migrant workers, the rights for healthcare sector workers; we celebrate contributions of all the people of African descent who built the labour movement. This history must include the unpaid labour during slavery, work done by agricultural labourers and domestic workers, the work of staff and elected leadership in the labour movement.
Black History Month 2013, we celebrate our history, and hold fast to the promises of the future to fulfil the dream.
A dream where exploitation, marginalization and injustice is a thing of the past and one day our Sisters and Brothers of African Descent in the Canadian Labour Movement will be judged on their character, and be treated with the dignity and respect deserving of a people who helped to build this country and this movement.
So as we celebrate Black History Month, we look forward to the hope, promise and dream realized, right here in Canada and also for our southern neighbours.
Well here it is…..the OFL International Women’s Day March 8th pin & poster for 2013! The theme this year is ‘Hand in Hand: Sisters Sharing Hope Vision Solidarity’. The pin and poster reflect that theme. We have attached a photo of the pin – it is gold tone & glazed and even more beautiful when you see it in person with the colours more vibrant than on paper.
The poster is available in French & English in limited quantities. You will note that for Unions who order more than 500 pins they will have their logo added to the bottom of the poster.
I encourage you to get your Order Forms in asap to ensure delivery prior to March 8th celebrations! All the information you’ll need to order in on the form.
Thank you so much and feel free to pass it on.
Cabins on the Fundraising cruise are selling out like hot cakes… Time to book your fantastic voyage! Please take note of the updated information in this flyer and distribute to all who are interested in helping the Chapter with this fundraising initiative, thank you!
Please share this link with your union’s equity groups to view this presentation. The struggle continues! The presentation also contains charts showing gender wage gaps within ethnic groups.
Title: Equal Education, Equal Pay: Closing the Gender Wage Gap Graphic: http://www.learnstuff.com/