NORTH BAY, ON, Aug. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - CUPE National President Paul Moist
will celebrate Labour Day with the North Bay and District Labour Council as
they host their Family Fun Day at the North Bay Waterfront. Amidst rumours of
a fall election, Moist will take the opportunity to discuss issues important
to workers across the country, including the need for a new national labour
"The current federal government has not only put our country in economic
turmoil with flawed tax-cuts and laisser-faire policies: it is also showing
flagrant disregard for values that we too often take for granted. Workers must
now fight to protect fundamental democratic values, traditions and
institutions, and key to that will be bidding farewell to the Harper
"Despite adversity, Canadian workers are committed to change towards
environmental sustainability, a health care system shielded from profiteers,
renewed infrastructure avoiding the trap of P3s, and the improvement of public
services. We can count on dedicated CUPE members to make that happen," said
WHO : Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public
WHY: To celebrate Labour Day and speak with community members about
important labour issues
WHERE : North Bay Waterfront (West End)
WHEN : Monday, September 1, 2008.
Mr. Moist will speak at 12:30 p.m.
With 570,000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health
care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services,
public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.
This Labour Day, reflect on what we have - and what we want to keep
By Paul Moist, CUPE national president and
Claude Généreux, CUPE national secretary-treasurer
Labour Day is a great time for workers and employers to stop and consider
where we came from, where we stand, and how we can continue to move forward.
Despite all the work we have done together, and how far we have come,
workers continue to fight to protect fundamental democratic values, traditions
The current federal government has shown flagrant disregard for basic
rights that we too often take for granted. Under the Harper government, we've
seen attacks on independent watchdogs such as Elections Canada and the
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission; the refusal to repatriate a Canadian
child-soldier who has been illegally detained and tortured by the U.S. for
more than six years; attempts to pass legislation based purely on narrow
ideology; and pressure to privatize Canada's public services. Out of
143 countries, Canada was one of only four countries that refused to adopt the
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Canadians are aware that inaction on greenhouse gas emissions could lead
to devastating climate change. In 2002, Harper called the Kyoto protocol "a
socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations". This is not
an acceptable response for the thousands of lower income households and
vulnerable communities who will be especially hurt by the impact of climate
For many workers across Canada, this has been a year fraught with stress
and financial insecurity. Thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost,
impacting upon countless workers and their communities.
Today, as we reflect on all of the things that make us proud Canadian
workers, we must also consider how hard we are willing to fight to keep it
- It's time for the Harper government to reverse its failed policy of tax
cuts for wealthy corporations and start eradicating the $100 billion-
plus deficit in Canadian public infrastructure. Investment in public
infrastructure generates high rates of return and is vital to
rebuilding communities and the economy.
- A national economy is only as strong as its workforce. It's time to
start investing in national programs that support our labour market.
For working families, we need a pan-Canadian, public early-learning and
child care program. On the job, we need to invest in training,
including literacy programs. We can't sit and watch our economy sink
while high-skill positions remain empty and poorly qualified workers
- In the ongoing discussions on interprovincial trade in the country,
CUPE will continue to counter the threat of TILMA-like agreements that
would allow corporations to sue governments for any loss of profit
caused by a difference in regulations.
- The single most important task for workers may be resisting the wave of
privatization of public services. Continuous research and advocacy is
exposing so-called public private partnerships for what they are -
bottomless money pits for private corporations.
- Canadians must remain vigilant in protecting public health care, a
founding block of Canadian social justice. It's time to learn from the
failed systems of the U.S. and Great Britain. The solutions are well
known: they include a public-sector only wait time strategy, a national
pharmacare program and a national long-term care program.
- Labour must continue to counter corporate globalization by linking arms
with its brothers and sisters around the world. This summer, four of
Canada's public sector union leaders toured Colombia to examine human
and labour rights in view of the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement.
That Canada would even contemplate such an agreement with a country
where one trade unionist is murdered every few days is a gross
violation of Canadian values.
This Labour Day, we celebrate the incredible strength and dedication of
our brothers and sisters in Canada and around the world. It is a time to
consider the stability and security that our unions have worked hard to build
for Canadian workers. As we reflect upon all that we have won, we also need to
consider the road ahead, and how hard we need to work together to keep our
workplaces democratic, and our services positively public.
For further information:
For further information: Enquiries or interviews: Allison Gifford, CUPE
Communications, (613) 484-2571 (cell.); Sébastien Goulet, communications du
SCFP, (613) 808-0675 (cell.); CUPE's Labour Day statement outlines key issues
and priorities for workers: www.cupe.ca/labourday