Friends and Allies,
A few short weeks ago, I was truly honoured to be elected to serve the working people of Canada as president of the Canadian Labour Congress. My fellow officers and I do not take this responsibility lightly – and it is not a job anyone can do alone. We are counting on you for your support … and your action.
Lily Chang, Siobhán Vipond, Larry Rousseau and I have already hit the ground running because we know that Canadians may very well be headed towards a federal election in the middle of a pandemic – making it one of the most important elections in a generation.
My first experience in the labour movement was as a young worker fighting for fair wages, benefits and protections at a corner grocery store in Winnipeg. My spirits were lifted by the incredible support we received from other workers and community members.
That memory has continued to inspire me to stand up for other people, speak out against injustice, and to always – always – try to make the world a better place.
But that memory also stands out because of how relevant that lesson is today.
When the global pandemic plunged our economy into uncertainty, it was front line workers in every sector who kept our families safe and healthy, and our communities running.
After being celebrated as heroes for the first few months, most of those workers lost their wage premiums, despite their continued dedication and exposure to risk. Meanwhile, many of the corporate CEOs clawing back their benefits continue making record profits.
I am sure that every worker in Canada has a unique story about the impact of the pandemic.
The upcoming federal election will be our opportunity to define Canada’s priorities.
It is our opportunity to fight for decent wages, standards, and equity to ensure no one is left behind, and we know that workers’ rights are human rights.
It is our opportunity to fight for paid sick leave and social programs – like universal pharmacare, affordable childcare, better healthcare and a stronger social safety net – to put an end to precarity and insecurity.
And it is our opportunity to protect the planet for future generations, by demanding bold climate action and a sustainable recovery.
That’s why I am asking you, and every worker in Canada, to sign up to be a part of this fight.
Click here to join our Action Team to help amplify worker issues and priorities in the upcoming federal election. We will call on you to share messages, send letters, and press local candidates and national parties to support worker issues.
I also invite you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to be a part of my team too.
After all, I know that we are much stronger when we work together.