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February 18, 2010

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This year’s May Day will be “Community Action Day”: O’Neill

BURNABY—This year on May Day, CUPE BC will be asking its members to mark International Workers Day by celebrating their presence in and involvement with the communities where they live and work.

May Day is recognized each year as the International Workers’ Day. The May 1st date was chosen more than 100 years ago to commemorate the struggles and gains of workers and the labour movement. This year it’s getting a slight rebrand, thanks to CUPE BC’s “Strong Communities” campaign.

“Out of the struggles of the international workers’ rights movement came the eight-hour day, the five-day work week, improved working conditions and child labour laws—gains we could not have won without the solidarity of workers and the communities the workers lived in,” says CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.

“As workers, we must recognize and commemorate May Day not only for its historical significance, but also as a time to celebrate the contributions of workers today.”

In 2004, CUPE Locals and District Councils celebrated May Day across the province by organizing food and clothing drives, hosting barbecues, donating free access to community centre facilities, and hosting many other events. Proceeds from the drives and barbecues were made to local community organizations.

This year, says O’Neill, CUPE BC is asking its locals and district councils to help turn May Day into “Community Action Day” by organizing events throughout the province, in the first two weeks of May, that similarly reflect CUPE’s deep connection to the communities where CUPE members live and work.

"We can build on our successful events of 2004 by again giving back to the communities we live and work in,” says O’Neill.

CUPE Locals and Councils interested in receiving materials for “Community Action Day” events in their communities should confirm their participation by February 27. They are asked to contact Local Community Organizer Susan Zander at the BC Regional Office in Burnaby at (604)291-1940 (ext. 265) or [email protected].