As a community, and especially as a labour union, we need to be aware of the discriminatory behaviour and bullying around us. We need to be the ones who stand up. We need to be the ones who support others who are suffering — physically, emotionally and economically.
Ottawa (09 April 2019) — Inequality, bullying, harassment and hate have no place in our society. The International Day of Pink, held on the second Wednesday in April, is designed to bring awareness to issues of diversity and to stop homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, and all forms of bullying.
The genesis of Pink Day came from a day in Nova Scotia, in 2007, when a high school student wore a pink shirt to school and faced bullying for it. Two other high school students saw what was happening and took action to stop it. But the solidarity and support didn't stop there. The next day, the school was a sea of pink. Almost every student wore a pink shirt as a message that discrimination and bullying would not be tolerated. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) joins with so many others in honouring diversity, community, and all those who are fighting for equality and justice.
But, bullying doesn't just happen in schools. We see it in workplaces, in families and across society. It can come in the form of taunts, physical or psychological interactions, discriminatory behaviour and the violations of human rights.
We also see bullying in the ways that governments decide public policy, targeting the poor and marginalized communities. We see it in the language that is used to create division. We see it in cuts to affordable housing and community services. We see it in tuition increases and increases in court fees. We see it in the layoffs of teachers and health care workers. We see it when the minimum wage isn't increased to a livable standard.
As a community, and especially as a labour union, we need to be aware of the discriminatory behaviour and bullying around us. We need to be the ones who stand up. We need to be the ones who support others who are suffering — physically, emotionally and economically. As agents of change, we need to work for a world where equality and fairness are the cornerstones.
We need to wear our pink shirts every day.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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