Harmful misconceptions about unions inspired March Why Unions Matter winner

“I’d like to be able to find full-time work in journalism, but those jobs are hard to find,” says Why Unions Matter winner Matt Creed. “I know I’m not the only one in this grind—seems like everybody is going through the same thing right now.”

Ottawa (17 June 2014) — Matt Creed's story is increasingly familiar. The winner of the Why Unions Matter contest For March, Creed is a bright, articulate and ambitious 29-year-old struggling to build a career for himself.

Winner inspired to enter Why Unions Matter contest by his own lack of union

“I’m a freelance journalist under contract, and I’ve covered events like the Ontario Hockey League playoffs,” says the resident of Barrie, Ontario. “I’ve got another part-time job in case I have a slow month freelancing.

“I’d like to be able to find full-time work in journalism, but those jobs are hard to find,” he says. “I know I’m not the only one in this grind—seems like everybody is going through the same thing right now.”

Creed knows that a healthy union could help force media outlets to provide journalists with more stable hours, but he also knows that the attacks on organized labour’s reputation has left many people ambivalent to unions.

Communication and dialogue key to changing misconceptions of unions

“There are a lot of misconceptions about unions out there. They’re being vilified,” he says. “I think the answer is more communication and dialogue.”

Which is one of the reasons he was inspired to enter the Why Unions Matter contest.

“They take all the bruises, the bumps, the bad name,” Creed wrote in his entry, a poem called The Union. “To ward off the greedy, the evil, the vain / They don’t wear a cape, a mask or seek fame / Truth, rights, and justice are their only crusade.”

The Union

By Matt Creed

They work day and night
In dark and in light,
Though you can’t always see them
They’re never out of sight.

They take all the bruises, the bumps, the bad name
To ward off the greedy, the evil, the vain.
They don’t wear a cape, a mask or seek fame
Truth, rights, and justice are their only crusade

To protect the people
An honest day’s pay
A safer environment
To work and to play

Though you may not know them
By face or by name
They are not super human
But heroes the same.

 

Contest continues

Submissions are still be accepted for the Why Unions Matter contest. Original poems, songs, videos or pieces of writing can be submitted by email to whyunionsmatter@nupge.ca. Selections are made on a monthly basis. 

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good.

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