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Friday, November 6

CUPE members leap for Canada 

Hundreds of CUPE members joined with community allies to rally in support of the Leap Manifesto vision —which calls on Canada to act decisively to transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a pollution-free economy.

Keynote speakers Stephen Lewis and Naomi Klein sent a unified message that it is time for action on climate change.

Lewis urged CUPE to continue the work on climate justice, while Klein said we don’t have any time to waste. “We can’t just leave this to the politicians, and if they’re not going to lead, then we’re going to lead,” she said.

Several speakers noted that CUPE was the first union to sign the Leap Manifesto, highlighting the fact that the environmental and trade union movements are natural allies in the fight for social justice. CUPE national secretary-treasurer Charles Fleury added that CUPE will bring the Leap message to COP21 in Paris.

Tsleil-Waututh leader Rueben George spoke of his Nation’s struggles to protect their traditional territories.

With a powerful message about the future, young local activist and singer Ta’kaiya Blaney wowed the crowd with beautiful music and words.

CUPE National President-elect Mark Hancock encouraged members to keep up the momentum and participate in the November 29 Global Climate March.

Naomi Klein addresses convention

Following the rally, bestselling author, columnist and activist Naomi Klein spoke to delegates at convention emphasizing that “now is the time for boldness. Now is the time to leap.”
Klein, author of This Changes Everything, told delegates that in addition to addressing climate justice, the Leap Manifesto also calls for the transformation of the current system of inequality to one where citizens, not corporations, control the most vital sectors of the economy.

Strategic Directions: Building workers’ power

Debate over the last two days on CUPE’s action plan focused on our activism, building a better country – and world.
Connecting with members, building a more inclusive union, creating safe and healthy workplaces, and fighting privatization were common threads.
Other important themes included the need for ongoing political action at all levels, CUPE’s role in our collective leap to a low-carbon economy and good green jobs, and the importance of international solidarity in fighting globalized corporate power.
Delegates will vote on strategic directions on Friday.

CUPE gives Fahmy a hero’s welcome

Convention delegates gave former Al Jazeera Cairo bureau chief and award winning Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy a hero’s welcome. Fahmy thanked CUPE delegates for their work to help him win his release when he was imprisoned on bogus charges in Egypt for more than 400 days.

Pearl Blommaert wins Health and Safety Award

Pearl Blommaert, a long-time activist in Saskatchewan and CUPE 4980 president, is CUPE’s 2015 Health and Safety Award winner.  Blommaert set an important precedent by pushing her employer, and the province, to adopt violence prevention policies and legislation in the early 1990s. She is the first woman to win the award.

Ann Ramsay wins National Disability Rights Award

A life-changing accident in 2009 left PEI school bus driver Ann Ramsay with paralysis of the lower body. Ramsay retrained and went back to work as a receptionist and added disability rights activist to her union work. Honored for her strength and resilience, Ramsay received the CUPE 2015 National Disability Rights Award for her activism.

This bulletin is published daily by CUPE Communications and distributed on the convention floor each morning.
Copyright © 2015 Canadian Union of Public Employees, All rights reserved.

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