March 19, 2019
On March 21, 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we pause to reflect on the inherent structures of power that advantage some over others. We also use this opportunity to recognize our union’s work in undoing these discriminatory frameworks and move forward to achieve an equitable society for all.
Built on a history of settler violence and colonialism, our efforts as a nation towards truth and reconciliation leave much to be desired. Going beyond lip service, Canadian policies must allocate adequate resources and funding for programs and services to meet the needs of Indigenous communities, including access to clean water and quality housing. Violence against Indigenous girls and women, and the innumerable lives lost to and impacted by this, demand our attention as a nation.
From discriminatory immigration policies that consider migrant workers good enough to work here but not good enough to belong here, to racial profiling that systemically discriminates against Black people, we, as activists, have much to advocate for. These systems of oppression and injustice perpetrate harmful stereotypes and uneven access to resources and political representation. For these reasons, amongst others, Unifor’s mandate to push for social justice is more relevant now than ever.
In our fight to defend human rights and combat racism, 2018 saw roundtable discussions that address these issues, along with tackling timely topics such as xenophobia and Islamophobia. Human rights training and courses that equip activists with the tools to be a voice for fairness and diversity in workplaces and beyond are other ways our union is paving the way for a more equitable world.
Director, Human Rights