UFCW Canada Local 832 has been chosen as the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba.
Every year, In recognition of International Human Rights Day, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission (MHR), the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties acknowledge human rights work that has advanced the rights of Manitobans. This prestigious award is given to those who have promoted respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Local 832 is the first union to win this Human Rights Award.
“The UFCW provides and promotes an inclusive union that reflects the diversity of its membership and their families,” declared the Manitoba Human Rights Commission in announcing this year’s Commitment Award winner.
Local 832 was nominated for the award by Carrie Walker Jones and Semhar Ekubamichael, who were inspired by their experiences at the local union’s renowned training centre. “The union’s work includes the right to be free from discrimination, the right to be free from harassment, the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and the right to opportunities that allow individuals to succeed,” wrote Carrie and Semhar in their nomination letter to the Commission.
In recent years, Local 832 has provided a wide variety of services and programming, free of charge, to thousands of new-comers to Canada, including its vast and diverse migrant worker membership. Such services have included translation and settlement services and English as an Additional Language courses, among others. In addition to being a staunch advocate for migrant and immigrant workers, as a result of the collective agreements negotiated by the Local 832 collective bargaining team, thousands of migrant workers have been able to access the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program and attain their Permanent Residency in Canada.
As part of the events leading up to International Human Rights Day on December 10, Local 832 will officially receive the Commitment Award on December 8 in a ceremony hosted by the MHR Commission, with Local 832 President Jeff Traeger, activists and staff accepting the award on behalf of the local union.
“We are very humbled to be recognized by the Manitoba Human Rights Commission for the work by our union and our training centre,” says President Traeger. “Our staff and executive have worked very hard over the years to break down barriers that exist for our members and Manitobans in general and to educate our membership and embrace the evolving diversity of our province. I would like to thank both Carrie Walker Jones and Semhar Ekubamichael for nominating us on this award,” adds Brother Traeger, who in addition to leading Manitoba’s largest private-sector local union, is a founding member of the UFCW Canada National Council Human Rights, Equity & Diversity Committee.
“UFCW Canada activists from across the country congratulate our Local 832 Sisters and Brother for this prestigious and very well deserved acknowledgement of their outstanding efforts,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “Local 832 has repeatedly demonstrated its full commitment to creating a more inclusive union and to calling out for greater equality and social justice, and it is quite inspirational to see that outstanding effort recognized by the Human Rights Commission of Manitoba. We are all inspired by Local 832's truly amazing work.”