Every December we note and commemorative a couple of very important days on the calendar. They are more than just days. They are milestones and reminders that we have much more to do to protect, support and improve the lives of members of our union and within our society who face particular challenges and struggles.
On Dec 3 we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. UHEW affirms that persons with disabilities must be able to participate in all aspects of Canadian society fully and equitably. We note that we still have a long way to go to achieve this goal. The fact is that over 20% of Canadians have at least one disability and many persons with disabilities live in poverty, especially those with severe disabilities. In the federal public sector, one in four employees with a disability reports having been the victim of discrimination on the job, and fewer than one-third feel they have opportunities for promotion. We recommit ourselves to doing better and to working harder on their behalf in the days and years ahead.
December 6 is a solemn day for all people in Canada, especially for women and those who are fighting for equality and justice for all. On December 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. We mourn the losses of these women, and we renew our commitment to eliminate all forms of violence against women. UHEW asks all members to pause on December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women and to reflect on all women who have lost their lives to gender-based violence. Join us in fighting against violence at work, at home and throughout society. A better world is possible if we are willing to work for it.
On December 10 UHEW unites with workers and human rights activists in Canada and around the world to celebrate progress and recommit to advancing human rights in Canada and abroad. In Canada we have enshrined the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But that does not mean our work is finished in this regard. Until every person in this country and all over the globe receive full civil, social, economic and political rights, we still have work to do. Too many people face racism, discrimination and hatred for who they are, where they come from, or what they believe. Let this day be a reminder of pressing human rights issues. We must continue to mobilize, educate ourselves and speak out.
As this year comes to a close, please accept our best wishes for health and happiness in the new year ahead. From our UHEW family to yours.
Help us build UHEW together!!