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Las Vegas, Nevada – September 25, 2017 – Hundreds of UFCW activists and allies from across Canada and the United States recently gathered in Las Vegas for the 2017 United Latinos Educational Conference, where participants shared ideas and strategies on how to empower Latino workers and build Latino pride within UFCW and the North American labour movement.
Held from September 15 to 17, the three-day conference featured a number of presentations exploring UFCW’s efforts to engage Latino members in the U.S. and Canada, as well as cutting-edge workshops aimed at developing activists’ media and communication skills.
The theme of this year’s event was “Be Bold. Speak Out. Fight Back!” Accordingly, UFCW International President Marc Perrone and UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema spoke about the important work that our union is doing to fight racism and xenophobia on both sides of the border. U.S. Congressman Ruben Kihuen, meanwhile, discussed the threat that Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies pose to Latino workers in America, and praised UFCW for its work in opposing these policies.
In addition, UFCW Canada National Representative Pablo Godoy updated activists on the challenges facing Latino workers in Canada, and the initiatives that our union is pursuing to engage members on these issues. And former UFCW Canada Executive Assistant to the National President, Victor Carrozzino, was presented with the Joe Barragan Award for his decades of advocacy on behalf of Latino workers, and his role in launching the United Latinos of Canada.
“Unfortunately we are seeing a rise in racism, xenophobia, and intolerance not only in the United States, but also in Canada, and it is our job as labour activists to stand up and say we will not accept this type of hatred,” National President Meinema told the audience. “So let us work in solidarity across borders to fight all forms of oppression,” he added.