February is Black History Month

NUPGE celebrates Black History Month honouring those who have fought for equality and justice everywhere.

Ottawa (06 Feb. 2013) – February, Black History Month, is a time for reflection and recognition of the contributions people of African and Carribean descent have made to our country. It is a time to appreciate the struggles that have been fought to overcome inequality and oppression to be able to live and work with respect and dignity.

In 1995, the Canadian government officially designated February as Black History Month. Events to celebrate the occasion are held throughout February in communities across Canada. And while these events celebrate progress and achievement, some old battles are still being fought.

A 2011 report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Wellesley Institute "found that during the heyday of Canada’s pre-recession economic boom, racialized Canadians were more willing to work, but experienced higher levels of unemployment and earned less income than non-racialized Canadians." In addition, racialized Canadians tend to be employed in insecure, temporary and low paying jobs, thus making a decent living difficult.

Canada has seen the income gap only worsen for middle and lower income workers and their families since the start of the 2008 recession. "Income inequality is the biggest social, economic and moral issue facing Canada and our failure to tackle this problem comes with serious consequences," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).

"As we continue our work to create a more equal and justice society, we need to take strength and courage from those who have challenged injustice in the past and have made amazing contributions to the fabric of our country," said Clancy. "Because of their preserverance, we know that together we can defeat income inequality entirely."

More information:Canada's Colour Coded Labour Market: The gap for racialized workers

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