Toronto – May 1, 2018 – Every May, workers across Canada honour Asian Heritage Month, which celebrates the long, rich, and ever-growing history of Asian Canadians and their continuous contributions to the cultural fabric of our country.
According to the latest census data, over 6.3 million Canadians speak either Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, or Tagalog at home, and the Asian continent continues to be the largest source of new immigrants to Canada, with roughly 700,000 new Canadians arriving from Asia between 2011 and 2016.
As we celebrate diversity, we must be vigilant in making sure that inclusion is at the heart of every action we take in advancing the human rights of all workers.
As a leading union in the area of diversity and inclusion, UFCW Canada is proud of our diverse membership, and our union is committed to ensuring that the workplaces we represent are free of discrimination. That is why UFCW activists recently completed the Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, which trained UFCW Canada members and staff to deal with unconscious biases when making decisions in order to better represent the membership. As well, UFCW Canada Local Unions continuously work to provide collective agreements in a number of different languages so that the benefits of UFCW membership are accessible to all members.
This Asian Heritage Month, I encourage you to support inclusion initiatives in your Local Union and in your community. Ask your union about the actions it is taking to ensure that all members have the ability to celebrate their heritage at work. And ask how you can help – as a worker and as an activist – to combat systemic racism and foster an environment where discrimination and hatred are not tolerated. After all, when we work together, the sky is truly the limit.
Paul R. Meinema