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CULE statement on International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, 2016

The year 2016 has been a year of many challenges for basic Human Rights across the globe.

Tens of millions of refugees around the world continue to be forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. They fight for their lives and seek basic human rights such as shelter, food and water.

In the past few years we have watched the rise of hate across the world in Europe and the U.S. Sadly, even in Canada hate crimes based on race, religion and other grounds continue to be reported.

The recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission challenge us as union members and all Canadians to take part in true reconciliation between Indigenous and other people in Canada.

More recently, thousands of people stood together with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, U.S. as protectors against the Dakota Access pipeline calling for “Respect for the Scared Land” and the right to clean water. In the years to come, we in Canada will continue to face our own struggles against development projects which threaten the environment and our future.

GLBT and women’s rights are under attack.  People with disabilities continue to face barriers and discrimination in all areas of society.

The fight for a decent minimum wage continues.   Precarious work continues to be used as a barrier to job security and a tool of oppression against countless women, Indigenous and racialized and other workers.

December 10 is designated by the United Nations as Human Rights Day.  CULE salutes its members who are engaged in the struggle for human rights in our workplaces and communities across the country and the world.

We are also proud of our support over the years for non-profit organizations that carry out social justice work locally and internationally though the CULE International Solidarity fund and other means.

We also vow to uphold our rights in our collective agreement which protect us against discrimination in the workplace on human rights grounds such as age, race, religion, disability, sex, family or marital status and sexual orientation and our right to access social justice leave to attend events which mark various human rights days.

We call on all our members and allies to pause and reflect on this important day and continue to commit to the struggle for human rights for all.  Let us commit to “keeping our ducks in a row” as we fight for human rights every day within our workplaces and communities across Canada and the world.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

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