It has been more than fifty years since the most unspeakable racist incidents occurred in South Africa, shocking the whole world and prompting the United Nations to declare March 21, as a commemorative date to observe the International Day for the elimination of racial discrimination. This incident screamed the word "racism" as a gigantic billboard to challenge humanity with the consequences of intolerance.
On December 24, 2009 four migrant workers were killed and another critically injured when the scaffold they were working on collapsed and sent them plunging 13 stories to the base of a Toronto apartment building. In the wake of the investigation of the Christmas Eve tragedy — and in large part because of pressure from UFCW Canada, labour allies and community groups — more than 60 charges in total were filed under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act against various construction and repair companies.
It is sometimes hard to envision how racism can continue to plague us in our increasingly globalized world. One would think that on a planet where an African-American man governs the predominantly white United States, a Korean man leads the United Nations, and a black woman from the global South stands as the Governor General of Canada, issues of race would by now be historical facts reviewed by elementary teachers as ways in which people acted in the past, but are now viewed through the lens of “never again.”
UFCW Canada is calling on all members to stand in solidarity with their fellow workers and UFCW brothers and sisters in the United States by supporting a boycott against the State of Arizona, which recently passed a law that allows for greater discrimination against the State’s large and growing number of racialized residents and workers.