Toronto – December 5, 2017 – Each year on December 10, we commemorate the 1948 United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. At UFCW Canada, our union is committed to ensuring that members’ human rights are respected, and we continually work to eliminate discrimination, misogyny, and xenophobia in our workplaces and communities.
As part of our commitment to advancing human rights, UFCW Canada is the only labour organization in the country with a Human Rights, Equity & Diversity department, which plays an important role in helping us apply an intersectional lens to every aspect of our organization.
Our union also strives to confront the systemic hardships that impact vulnerable communities and equity-seeking groups across Canada. For example, our “End Discrimination Against First Nations Children” campaign calls for equity in the provision of social services to all children in Canada, as indigenous children living on reserve currently receive less funding and supports than non-indigenous children. We are also working to end inequities in pay through our “Close the Gender Wage Gap” campaign, which calls for gender parity in compensation. Given that women make an average of 30 percent less than males colleagues performing the same or comparable work, this initiative is especially urgent right now.
Our union knows that human rights must be addressed collectively, and that they can only be fully realized when the dignity, freedoms, and equality of all people are advanced, both in the workplace and in society.
On International Human Rights Day, let us commit to standing up for the disenfranchised, and working together to fight against intolerance and exploitation. Let us resolve to defend the rights of refugees, migrant workers, indigenous peoples, members of the LGBTQ community, and anyone else who faces discrimination in our society. Let us reaffirm our common humanity, and commit to protecting and advancing the human rights of all.
Paul R. Meinema