Global Solidarity

MoveUP works closely with unions, labour groups, and Global Union Federations throughout the world. In an age of ever-increasing economic integration, global trade, transnational ownership and even the integration of governments and monetary systems, the needs and interests of COPE members are directly and indirectly intertwined with those of workers the world over.

As a union, our first and foremost priority is always representing our own membership. But the strength of our union and our ability to leverage of collective representation to meet our members’ needs depends in myriad ways upon the strength of union throughout Canada and, indeed, throughout the world. In an age of ever-increasing economic integration, global trade, transnational ownership and even the integration of governments and monetary systems, the needs and interests of COPE members are directly and indirectly intertwined with those of workers the world over.

Indeed, in a time of economic turmoil and crisis with pension plans under assault in Europe and the right to free collective bargaining under attack in Mexico, and even the rights to job security being fought for, and won, by COPE members at Hertz, we need strong unions in every community in order to make sure that we can preserve and improve the rights that we have fought so hard to get.

In June 2010 the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) World Congress took place in Vancouver, union members from across the world coming to British Columbia. With much of the world still in the midst of a grave economic crisis of which the outcome remains uncertain, the assaults on workers’ rights have never been so acute. The importance and benefits of forums such as the ITUC World Congress are myriad, and the impact of having demonstrations of strength and solidarity across borders and cultures take place right here in Vancouver can have innumerable benefits for workers in BC and across Canada. It is hard to believe that having such a strong, unified, and diverse labour presence in Vancouver won’t have some impact on our provincial and federal governments that continue to turn their backs on working people.

While this Congress was taking place in Vancouver, thousands of activists from the labour movement, civil society groups, environmentalists, and social justice organizations in Toronto for the G8 and G20 summits in late June. The importance of making sure that the world’s underprivileged and poor have a voice at these forums cannot be understated. When the powerful and influential leaders of the world gather to discuss things like the international financial system, all too often the needs of ordinary people are forgotten or ignored. The reason why unions and other groups and concerned individuals go to these events is to make sure that this can’t happen, that when the G8 or G20 leaders sit around a table they don’t just talk about bank bailouts and how to get back to business-as-usual, but to make sure that they can’t ignore the needs of the world’s workers and the world’s poor, be they in Britain, Burundi, Brazil, or British Columbia.

We see similar forces at play in Mexico right now, where our friends and allies in unions like the mineworkers and the energy workers are under direct, and often violent, assault from the government. Often, these struggles seem far away, but in fact they keep getting closer and closer to us, and to our workplaces. With the breakdown of trade barriers, the energy industry and transnational ownership are more integrated than ever before, and the struggles of workers in Mexico are increasingly similar to those of workers in Canada. While we fight similar battles against privatization and global employers like Accenture, in Mexico many of our sisters and brothers are fighting for their lives, their rights, and their livelihoods.When government use police and paramilitaries to attack strikers, or as in the case of the Pasta de Conchos mine, the widows of murdered miners who are trying to recover their spouses’ bodies, then it is an assault not just on workers’ rights, but on decency and humanity.

The labour movement has always played a crucial role in fostering positive social change and standing up for human and workers’ rights, both in Canada and abroad. Today, MoveUP members continue this tradition. In a globalized world more than ever strong unions in Canada need strong unions in places like Mexico.

Our voices are always stronger when we stand together.

MoveUP works closely with unions, labour groups, and Global Union Federations throughout the world. In an age of ever-increasing economic integration, global trade, transnational ownership and even the integration of governments and monetary systems, the needs and interests of COPE members are directly and indirectly intertwined with those of workers the world over.