Three young Canadians are the latest winners of NUPGE’s $1,000 Why Unions Matter contest.
Ottawa (09 June 2015) — The latest batch of winners of the National Union of Public and General Employees' (NUPGE) $1,000 Why Unions Matter contest show that you don’t have to belong to a union to know just how valuable they are.
The winning entries — two poems and an essay — were all written by young Canadians who haven’t yet entered the workforce but who are nonetheless thankful for unions.
Regina’s Alexandria Kay might not even be here if it weren’t for unions — her parents met on the job. And so the 17-year-old (who is one of three triplets), decided to sing unions’ praises from the point of view of a young person.
“We as children of union workers don’t worry about our parents’ working conditions"
“We as children of union workers don’t worry about our parents’ working conditions, they get the training needed to be safe,” she writes in her poem Unions Do Matter … Looking Thru A Child’s Eyes.
Newfoundland’s Samantha Budgell, meanwhile, took a much broader view of the topic. Her essay Why Unions Matter touches on a range of the ways in which unions empower people to do better for themselves and their communities.
Canadians hold dear to unions
As the aspiring medical student points out, “Canadians hold dear to the fact that people in our provinces are looking out for every single individual, whether it’s over money issues or discrimination,” and so they hold dear to unions.
Vicky Yu’s poem The Working Man ties these themes together beautifully. The story of one unionized worker’s stable life, Yu’s poem concludes with this insightful stanza: “So this man is thankful / Because he still has a choice / His unions have helped him / Protect his rights and his voice.”
Unions empower people to protect themselves
Unions don’t just protect their members, they empower them to protect themselves.
Congratulations to these three young writers.
To anyone else with an interesting or artistic way to describe why unions matter, the contest is still on and we’re continuing to award $1,000 prizes to best entries each month.
Send them along to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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