Collective action toward racial justice


Globally workers, organizations, sports teams, business and unions continue to take direct action and demand racial justice. These demands are not new for many Black, Indigenous and racialized communities and advocacy groups and it’s a breathe of fresh air that these voices are being heard throughout the world.

We have all been proud to see unity from major league sport teams in the WNBA, NBA, MLB, and NHL showing their support through strike action, game stoppage and statements.

These compounding actions build on months of protest, and generations of organizing in opposition to racial oppression including anti-Black racism, colonialism and all other forms of racism.

Our union recognizes that racism is a tool of the capitalist system built and designed to divide people for the profits of a few, and we must never lose focus on that.

Our ability to change this system, and our own lives, comes from our collective power.

Unifor is a union for everyone, not just members, we aim to raise the standards for all workers in Canada.  We made demands of the Provincial and Federal Governments to not only recognize key historical days like Emancipation Day, but have also pushed for a Federal Anti-racism Action Plan.

Unifor is not a union that waits for a minimum standard, we create standards, and raise the bar through our collective action and collective bargaining.

Throughout the pandemic we have made racial justice part of everything we produce or every action that we take:

  • Mental Health resources that recognize the compounding issue of racism on mental wellness.
  • Education, including ongoing seminars on allyship, advocacy for migrant workers, and bystander intervention. Register today.
  • We had a National Day of Action for Racial Justice on July 31st where locals across the country held actions of raising funds for local businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and people of colour, and collaborating with local organizations.
  • Endorsement of the Call to End Systemic Racism and Redefine Community Safety, recognizing the need to demilitarize the police, reallocate and invest in social systems in communities and the demand to decriminalize health and mental health.
  • Hosting public conversations on racism, including Working together for Racial Justice at the Summer Summit.

Unifor’s Regional Equity Committees lead our equity work, and are adjusting to the new normal. I want to thank local unions who support member’s participation in these vital structures, and cannot wait to see the next 3-year goals that these committees will identify and take on.

Once again this past weekend, Unifor members across the country protested the racial injustices that exist in society and continue to demand real, systemic change.

We know that many of you are looking to see what you can do to help.  Connect with local Indigenous and BLM organizers to participate in the movement that we are witnessing today, and read more on Unifor’s updated Policy on Racial Justice.

We cannot let this flame of energy and motivation burn out. Labour unions have a responsibility to act when workers are harmed, and it is obvious to us that racism is a life or death issue for many of Canada’s workers.

In solidarity,
Jerry Dias
National President