Unifor strongly believes that the labour movement has a key role to play in the fight against racism and Islamophobia. We have worked hard over the years to ensure that anti-racism, equity, and social justice are at the very root of everything that we do. We often pride ourselves in thinking that the problems that exist in other countries in terms of racism and anti-immigrant hostility, do not happen here. However, as recent events in Canada have shown, we are not immune.
In just the past few years we have witnessed mosques being vandalized and the tragic shooting deaths of six Muslim Canadians in Quebec City; the murders of two Indigenous youths from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine, and a system that has failed to bring justice for their families and communities; organized white supremacist rallies in our cities and at our borders targeting immigrants and refugees, and anti-black racism, police violence, and racial profiling of youth and people of colour.
While we are saddened and angered by these tragic events, we know we need to do more. The labour movement needs to do more. We must show a unified front against all individuals and groups that seek to divide us and who actively threaten Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, Muslims, migrants and refugees. We must work to not only find ways to better support our allies and partners who are leading this fight at the local and national level, but also find ways to support our members who want to become anti-racist and migrant justice advocates in their workplaces and communities.
As part of our continued work in this area, Unifor will be convening a special National Roundtable on Racism & Islamophobia on Thursday, August 16th, 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the lead-up to our annual Canada Council Meeting. Bringing together representatives from a variety of social justice organizations, grassroots advocacy groups, labour activists, academics, and government representatives, our goal of this roundtable is to engage in an open discussion about the role of the labour movement in combatting racism, and how we can forge better alliances with activists and organizations that are leading the fight against racial and religious intolerance.
Our desire is for attendees to leave with some concrete strategies and tools they can bring to their workplaces and communities and leave them feeling motivated, inspired, and supported to become active anti-racist allies and activists. We encourage you to attend this very important event.
In Solidarity / En toute solidarité,
Director, Human Rights and International Department.
Directeur, Service des droits de la personne et des relations internationales
T: 1.800.268.5763 ext. 8438 | C: 416.788-0846
205 Placer Court, Toronto, ON, M2H 3H9