Abe Araya Elected as President of CUPE Manitoba

BRANDON – Delegates at the 2019 CUPE Manitoba Convention in Brandon elected Abe Araya as President of the province’s largest union. Abe Araya comes from CUPE Local 110, representing custodians, maintenance, and painters at the Winnipeg School Division.

“Our union is focused on fighting back against cuts to health care, education, social services, and privatization,” said Araya. “Despite Brian Pallister’s attempts to divide working people, we will be uniting workers from across Manitoba to put a stop to Pallister’s austerity agenda.”

Delegates at convention voted in support resolutions, ranging from health and safety in the workplace, anti-oppression training for activists, pushing back against privatization, fighting against health care and education cuts, and supporting the Green New Deal.

“CUPE is an incredibly diverse union,” said Araya. “With the strength of Manitoba’s largest union, we will be on the front line defending public health care and education, public Hydro, and fighting for properly funded childcare and social services for all Manitobans.”

CUPE’s annual convention featured guest speakers, including NDP leader Wab Kinew, NDP Critic for Infrastructure and Municipal Affairs Matt Wiebe, NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre Leah Gazan, Winnipeg School Division Trustee Yijie Chen, and Manitoba Health Coalition Director Breanne Goertzen.

CUPE National President Mark Hancock and CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury spoke to delegates, committing the full strength of CUPE’s 700,000 members to fight against cuts and privatization.

Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck provided updates on labour’s united front against Bill 28 (The Public Services Sustainability Act) and committed to fight against the Pallister government’s unconstitutional wage freeze.

Two hundred people rallied outside Brandon City Hall with CUPE Local 69 on Wednesday evening, voicing concern over the contracting out of work at the Wheat City Golf Course.

Gord Delbridge, President of CUPE Local 500 served as interim CUPE Manitoba President throughout 2019. Delbridge continues to serve as Vice-President of CUPE Manitoba. Barb Gribben of CUPE Local 737 was this year’s recipient of the prestigious Jack Rodie Award, recognizing dedication and activism in the union.

“Our union is stronger, and more united than ever,” said Araya. “Manitobans can count on CUPE to defend good jobs, and fight for our public services.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 700,000 members.  In Manitoba, CUPE represents over 36,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, childcare centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.

Manitoba government offers responsible, visionary plan: CUPE

WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s NDP government has once again offered the province a progressive vision for the upcoming year in its annual speech from the throne, in what CUPE Manitoba is calling “a responsible and visionary plan.”

“The Manitoba government has offered an incredibly progressive plan that reflects the needs of a great cross-section of Manitobans” said Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba, “offering paid leave for victims of domestic violence, ensuring support for new refugees, confirming funding for Shoal Lake’s freedom road – this is the whole package.”

This year’s Throne Speech reflects the nation-wide calls for action on numerous key issues, both domestic and international, positioning Manitoba as a clear leader on social justice and progressive economic growth.

“After over a decade of steady growth and pragmatic stewardship over the economy, this government is well poised to tackle some pretty big issues” said Moist, “Manitobans expect a government that is both responsible and visionary, and that’s what today’s Throne Speech offers.”

Highlights of the Throne Speech include extending paid leave to victims of domestic violence, support for Syrian and other refugees, a renewed call for a  national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women, a renewed commitment to building the Shoal Lake 40 freedom road, investments in infrastructure and rapid transit, stable funding for colleges and universities, and a commitment to building 12,000 affordable childcare spaces.

The Throne Speech further commits to protecting Manitoba’s crown corporations against privatization.

“While other provinces are recklessly privatizing their key assets, Manitoba’s NDP government has pledged to protect our important institutions” said Moist, “all we need to do is look to our east or west to see what Liberal and Conservative governments have to offer, and it’s not pretty.”

Additionally the Throne Speech continues the government’s steady funding towards health care, education, infrastructure, and improving long-term care, all of which affect the work that CUPE members perform daily

“As the union that represents workers in communities and workplaces across Manitoba, we are excited to work with this government as it turns its vision into reality,” said Moist, “today’s Throne Speech is a great launching point for a new, progressive plan for our province.”

National Day of Mourning – April 28, 2015

via @mfl.ca

Since the 1980s, Canada’s labour movement has observed every April 28 as the Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. In 1990, Canada’s Parliament officially recognized the National Day of Mourning, and since then the tradition has spread to more than 100 countries.

The Day of Mourning is a day to honour the memory of those workers who have died, and to stand up for safe and healthy jobs.

Every year, the MFL and Labour Councils across Manitoba organize Day of Mourning events.

Please join us for a candlelight memorial service to remember these workers and to reaffirm our resolve to work for safe and healthy workplaces.

A reception with refreshments will take place before the service at 10:45 AM.

For more information, contact Tara Peel (204-953-2563)

  • Visit mfl.ca for more Day of Mourning events in Manitoba

CUPE proud to support Manitoba Government’s commitment to workplace health and safety.

Winnipeg – Today, as part of the April 28th Day of Mourning events happening across Canada, the Manitoba Government announced its action plan to prevent injury and illness in the workplace.

“CUPE is proud that Manitoba’s NDP government is taking strong legislative action to support workplace health and safety in Manitoba” expresses Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba, “It is poignant that this announcement comes on a day when the labour movement is remembering our colleagues who died or were injured on the job”.

The provincial announcement includes the doubling of funding for prevention services, and the creation of new requirements under the Workplace Safety and Health Act that more clearly define workers’ legal rights, as well as requiring mandatory orientation of new workers, and providing stronger protection when a worker refuses unsafe work.

“CUPE members are on the front line providing services to the community each and every day” states Moist, “we are reassured that the government’s pledge to increase public awareness, provide resources for training, and taking every workplace death seriously means that our community will see fewer workplace injuries”.

The provincial 5-year plan was announced during the annual Day of Mourning Leaders’ Walk that brought hundreds of workers and young people to the steps of the Manitoba Legislature, looking for action on the part of government.

“Manitoba is fast becoming a national leader on workplace health and safety” states Moist, “and because of the work of unions, we are seeing serious improvements and commitments from our government”.

The new plan also includes increasing the enforcement of rules to prevent bullying and violence in the workplace, and reviewing every workplace death to learn lessons about prevention.

April 28 National Day of Mourning

April 28th marks the National Day of Mourning: a day for us to remember workers who were killed or injured while on the job.DOM_sticker

It is a day of reflection and memory for those we’ve lost, and a day of action to highlight the importance of workplace health and safety.

Please visit the Manitoba Federation of Labour website for more information on Day of Mourning events held across the province. http://mfl.ca/workplace/fatalities.html