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Dec. 10, 2021

Every year, Unifor observes Human Rights Day on December 10, the day the United Nations General assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Unifor is a union for everyone, and in doing so, we are asking all members to “Work together for change.”

During the pandemic, racial tensions rose, there was political unrest with right wing politicians, the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine became a divisive political topic and by association, health care workers were under attack. Meanwhile, the inequality of vaccination globally was impacting many countries of Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

The result of this pressure cooker was combative division in our communities, with record numbers of hate crimes, protests and a political atmosphere focused on people and profits.

We have seen growing violence against people because of their identities and beliefs.

The escalation of human rights violations can start with a comment and if unchecked, can breed the violence we are seeing across the globe, especially if there are no consequences for those so open to inciting it.

Hate is a feeling of intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger or a sense of injury. But having those feelings is not an excuse to justify hate. As a union, we must move people out of fear to a place of shared humanity and love.

Some of the things we can do to address global human rights issues include:

  1. Through worker solidarity, work together to combat the capitalist systems that create and propel global human rights violations
  2. End food insecurity around the world
  3. End the devaluation of work and support income security
  4. Support people seeking refuge due to conflicts and climate crises
  5. End gender discrimination
  6. End violence against people from the LGBTQ communities
  7. Eradicate racism
  8. Create inclusive societies where the inequalities towards people living with disabilities no longer exist
  9. Stand with the many Indigenous communities demanding Truth and Reconciliation both here in Canada and globally

On December 10, 2021, let’s all “Work Together for Change” and not only see past our differences, but celebrate and appreciate those differences and see the whole person you do not know, and get educated on the diversity of the human race. We must also collectively stand up to governments that seek to divide workers.

Local unions should empower their Human Rights Committees and engage in the campaigns of the national union.

Register your committees with the Unifor Human Rights Department and participate in days of actions, so committees can be active in their communities with demands for human rights. Email humanrights@unifor.org to learn more.

Continue to support the Unifor equity programs, and we will continue to make the necessary changes for workplaces, communities, Canada, and globally to achieve true equality, equity, and justice for all people.

On December 10, use Unifor’s social media shareable to propel our message of “Work together for change.”

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