HEU marks International Day for the Elimination of Racism – March 21

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Since 1966, the United Nations has recognized March 21 as International Day for the Elimination of Racism – stemming from the worldwide outrage over an unprovoked South African slaughter of women, children and men six years earlier.

On March 21, 1960, police in Sharpeville, South Africa brutally killed 69 people and wounded another 180. The victims were part of an organized demonstration by 5,000 black South Africans who marched to the local police station and offered themselves up for arrest for refusing to carry their pass books – a law at the time.

The Sharpeville Massacre marked a turning point in South Africa’s history.

Unfortunately, racism continues to be an issue today. It’s reflected in our workplaces, our communities, and the inequality of wages and benefits for marginalized workers.

A recent study by the Canadian Labour Congress indicates that people from visible minorities will make up 20 per cent of the Canadian population by 2017, and in five years, 100 per cent of Canada’s net labour force growth will depend on immigration.

The CLC and unions across the country will continue to organize, represent and support marginalized workers by improving wages and working conditions, and countering racism in the workplace and in society at-large.

When we stand together, changes do happen.

HEU posters and stickers for International Day for the Elimination of Racism were sent to locals in our March 8 secretary-treasurer mailing.

For copies or more information on equity events, please contact HEU’s equity officer Lila Murao by phone at 604-438-5000 (Lower Mainland) or toll-free at 1-800-663-5813.