Unifor Statement on International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 is a global day of celebration of women and women’s achievements. It was started by working women to call attention to poor pay and working conditions. It grew to include a call for women’s right to vote and stand for office. It is now a day to celebrate equality gains and recommit to action and persistence toward full equality for all equity-seeking groups.

Eliminating harassment and violence in the world of work has been a longstanding priority for Unifor. Violence and harassment is unacceptable and incompatible with decent work, and a violation of human rights. On this IWD, we are joining the international movement for ratification of International Labour Organization Convention 190 and Recommendation 206.

This first-ever global treaty on harassment and violence is a huge victory for workers and the trade union movement. Until now, there was no law at the international level that set a baseline for taking action to address these issues.

The new Convention acknowledges the impact of violence and harassment in the world of work, and the right of everyone to a world of work free of violence, including gender-based violence.

This Convention covers the world of work, which applies not only to the workplace but also in spaces and situations linked to work such as work-related travel, training, events and commuting to and from work. It also deals with the risks brought on by new information and communication technologies.

We recognize the increased harassment and violence particular groups of women face including Indigenous women, women with disabilities, racialized and trans women.

The job now is to get Canada to ratify and implement this Convention. The federal government has set this a priority but needs the cooperation of the provinces. You can contact federal Minister of Labour Filomena Tassi and your provincial labour minister and tell them you are in favour of ratification of Convention 190!

Take action on IWD and please tag us in your posts on Twitter @UnifortheUnion, and on Facebook and Instagram at @UniforCanada so we can share your pictures.