CUPE BC has always been a strong supporter of women’s rights, and that support is just as strong today as it has ever been. This day of recognition of the struggles faced by women all over the world emerged from the efforts of the labour movement in the early 20th century both here in North America and in Europe.
While much progress has been made, there is so much more yet to accomplish. International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of the past and the efforts of the present, and to rededicate ourselves to a vision of a society where all people are truly equal. I’m proud that our union has been at the forefront of the struggle for equality since its formation more than 50 years ago.
Here in B.C., last month our union played a key role, along with many others, in helping elect two new women MLAs—Jodie Wickens and Melanie Mark—to join a BC NDP caucus that already included many strong women. We’re honoured that Sister Melanie—the first-ever First Nations woman elected to the B.C. Legislature—is joining our CUPE sisters today at an important event at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Vancouver.
I know I speak for all 85,000 CUPE BC members when I say that the struggle for equality is always at the forefront of our thinking, whether in the workplace, at the bargaining table, in political action, or in our communities.
Paul Faoro is President of CUPE BC, representing 85,000 workers in communities across BC.