UFCW Canada’s commitment to anti-oppression is developed through community consultation and engagement. As part of UFCW Canada’s strategy to improve diversity and inclusion benchmarks, UFCW Canada supports initiatives to train local union staff and leadership in progressive anti-oppression work. UFCW Canada’s national training in this area has raised the standard whereby all UFCW Canada representatives operate with diversity and inclusion as core values of their work. Our alliances with partner organizations have become crucial to setting the agenda for anti-oppression strategies across all equity-seeking members. UFCW Canada resources aim to combat racism in the workplace through actions that promote a sense of belonging.
UFCW Canada is proud to partner with the National Council of Canadian Muslims to develop a response to the growing threat of Islamophobia and the hateful rhetoric which has become mainstream in Canada. To this extent, UFCW Canada has sought out strategic partnership to develop a national strategy to fight Islamophobia.
As newcomers continue to be a big part of UFCW Canada’s membership growth, having the tools to ensure all cultures feel included in their union is our priority. As members understand the role their union plays in fighting racism and Islamophobia in the workplace, we set a strong foundation for trust and respect in society.
Producing accessible resources to assist UFCW Canada members and local unions when engaging in anti-oppression work, positions our Union as an ally in the fight against racism. Infographics, leaflets and publications are resources meant to be shared in workplaces and which serve as a conversation starter between members on how best to identify and erase discrimination.
The greatest resource a union member has in their struggle against racism is their collective bargaining agreement. By providing relevant materials to bargaining committees in local unions across the country, anti-oppression language can be enforced through union contracts. Using the grievance and arbitration process to formally denounce and resist racism not only protects the individual member but sets a precedent across the bargaining unit that harbouring such workplace practices comes at a steep cost to employers.
When members work with their union, they can make significant inroads in accommodating cultural practices like purpose-built prayer rooms and allocated breaks for spiritual practice. Using anti-oppressive practices allows our members to rest assured that their union understands the insidious nature of racism and are equipped with the tools to fight it.