When income inequality is allowed to flourish, our human rights are diminished

"People know that when economic injustice and inequality exist, our families and our communities suffer. Economic well being is a human right that must be protected." - James Clancy, NUPGE National President.

Ottawa (10 Dec. 2012) - Human Rights Day, recognized on December 10, has been observed by the international community every year to commemorate the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was one of the UN's first major achievements, and remains a powerful instrument and symbol worldwide.

This year, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), on behalf of its 340,000 members across Canada is focusing on the struggle to defeat income inequality, not only in our country but around the globe.

Income inequality flourishes every time one of our human rights is denied. The right to decent employment and working conditions, to a livable wage, the freedom to associate, to live without persecution and violence, to a decent standard of living, to an education are key elements to the Declaration but are slowly being stripped away from us.

Regressive labour legislation, stagnant wages, outsourcing and contracting out jobs to the lowest bidder, lack of affordable housing, high tuition costs are all conditions which allow income inequality to grow. When governments enact legislation to make it harder for Canadians to gain access to support systems such as employment insurance, pensions and health care but refuse to take action on the issue of tax fairness to provide much needed revenue to a suffering economy, income inequality grows.

"Rather than investing in families and communities, governments in Canada and around the world are implementing destructive austerity measures that will make income inequality worse," said James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "The good news is that more and more people are joining social movements focused on preserving quality public services, fighting for tax fairness and defending their human rights."

"More people today are speaking out about issues like tax fairness, the need for an industrial strategy and how unions play an important role in fighting income inequality," Clancy continued.

"People know that when economic injustice and inequality exist, our families and our communities suffer. Economic well being is a human right that must be protected."

"On this Human Rights Day, we want to thank everyone who has joined the conversation about income inequality and who are advocating for public policies that will reduce it."

More information: 

 All Together Now! campaign

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. NUPGE