“When he said what he said he told the people in the shop I’m lesser than him. I know he’s learning right now but people who hold public office must be held accountable. He should step down from running for mayor of this town.” — Jason MacLean, President of NSGEU
Amherst (17 Aug. 2016) — On August 16, 2016, Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), was among the leaders attending a march in Amherst, Nova Scotia protesting racist comments by a town councillor.
Town councillor George Baker has admitted to using a racist term to staff in a local restaurant. Baker is also a member of the Amherst police commission and a 2016 candidate for mayor.
Calls for Baker to end mayoral bid
MacLean spoke to rally participants about the racism he has experienced in the workplace and expressed his sympathy for the employees that Baker’s comments were directed at.
“When he said what he said he told the people in the shop I’m lesser than him,“ MacLean said. “I know he’s learning right now but people who hold public office must be held accountable."
"He should step down from running for mayor of this town.”
Prior to the rally Baker reaffirmed his intention to run for mayor.
Strong representation from Nova Scotia Labour movement
Also attending the rally was the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour’s secretary-treasurer Hugh Gillis who thanked the rally’s organizers and urged Nova Scotians to embrace their diversity.
“Racist words hurt. Racist words divide us and keep us apart,” Gillis said.
Also in attendance were members and activists from the United Steelworkers, CUPE Nova Scotia, Unifor Canada and the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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