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Dear Sisters and Brothers,
May is Asian Heritage Month, an occasion to delve into the history of Asian Canadians and recognize the contributions Asian Canadians have made to our union, our communities and our country.
In December 2001, the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.
In the trade union movement in Canada, the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance works as an activist network that puts issues of equality, racism and discrimination in workplaces and unions higher on labour’s agenda.
There is much more work to do to achieve equality for Asian Canadian workers and other equality seeking groups. Finding out more about the contributions from our Asian Canadian heritage is a step in that direction.
In May and throughout the year, Steelworkers must speak out against racism, and work to strengthen human rights for those of Asian heritage, and for all equality seeking groups in Canada.
I urge Steelworkers to:
- Invite an Asian Canadian activist to your union meeting to talk about Asian heritage in Canada, and the current challenges faced by Asian Canadians and other equality seeking groups.
- Join with other labour and community groups to sponsor an event of celebration for Asian Heritage Month.
- Conduct an audit of your workplace and your collective agreement to propose steps to promote diversity and prevent discrimination and racism.
- Create a Human Rights Committee in your local union.
- Join the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance for updated news, events, and Asian Canadian and international perspectives.