March 30, 2012 • Podcasts
The Labour of Labour
Continued from page 2
KM: Okay, so this is our equity statement. It says: CUPE 3902 is committed to the elimination of discriminatory behaviour; policies or practices that prevent or undermine the full and equal participation of all who wish to join and pursue the mission of the organization.
SS: Discrimination can happen overtly, covertly, or by omission. We will take proactive steps to ensure that full and equal participation is possible.
CH: We want to work towards anti-oppression and be conscious of our privileges and create an environment where union members are respected for abilities and potential.
KM: We commit to building a union culture in which equity, diversity, and safety are fundamental. This statement serves to remind us all that diversity in our society is a strength and that we must ensure equality and equity.
SF: How would you define the feminist approach that you feel is important to establish within the union?
SS: I feel like people shouldn’t tell us what to do; that’s the main thing. I feel people who are in positions of power [can] make assumptions about what the needs of members are and that’s the part that I’m having the most trouble with because it doesn’t incorporate the agency that members have over determining what their needs are. I don’t know [laughs].
KM: Yeah, and I think that the vision we have for this union is a great one, right? A vision of a union that’s driven by the membership itself. We have a really strong equity statement that suggests this is a union where we’re collectively doing what we can to make this organization, this collectivity, as accessible and excited to include this diversity in our membership that we actually have. And I think, in theory, to me, that’s all really exciting; that’s an organization I really want to be a part of. It’s a different story what we’re seeing in practice right now, but I think the vision is actually laid out in a lot of ways already.