March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Ottawa (20 March 2009) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is marking International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by urging its members and the Canadian public to renew the fight against discrimination in all areas of modern life.
March 21 has been celebrated for the past 43 years (since 1966) as a day to combat racism around the globe. Every year this day is recognized by the United Nations to commemorate the 1960 massacre of 69 people who were killed while demonstrating against apartheid "pass laws" in South Africa.
Each year NUPGE urges its 340,000 members across the country to make use of educational tools offered by the union to raise awareness about the harmful effects of racism in workplaces and communities as well as the labour movement and society as a whole.
This year NUPGE has been distributing a poster for general use (click to download - or order copies from email@example.com). It proclaims that the concept of full human rights must include the following:
- The right to organize and bargain collectively.
- A national network of community-based services that allow us to fully participate in society.
- An end to poverty and homelessness.
- Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment.
"Within NUPGE, and across the labour movement in Canada, we value diversity," says NUPGE president James Clancy.
"We recognize rights without the means to implement them are meaningless. That is why we celebrate differences and do everything we can to transform them into strengths rather than barriers," Clancy notes.
"Each year we make progress. This past year the progress was especially evident in the American presidential election. But we also recognize that the work of overcoming racism is never finished and we pledge to continue the struggle against it."
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
Download NUPGE poster: Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day - March 21