Each May, we recognize Asian Heritage Month, a time to reflect on the contributions and struggles of Asian people in Canada.
As we enter the month of May, 2023, PSAC members are on the picket lines in a history-making strike. Asian Heritage Month provides us with an opportunity to recognize the significant contributions that Asian workers have made to Canada’s labour movement.
Asian workers have played an important role in shaping Canada’s development, from building the railways to working in factories, the healthcare sector, and the fruit fields. They also have a long and storied history of fighting for worker justice and human rights in Canada in the face of rampant racism and discrimination in workplaces, communities, and in the union movement.
While discrimination and racism have a long history in Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic only made it worse. In the first year of the pandemic, acts of racism increased sharply; it was the most frequently cited reason for discrimination and the only type of discrimination that got worse after the pandemic started. Most of this increased racism and discrimination has been directed towards Asian Canadians.
We can use our role as union members and as community members to strengthen solidarity and inclusivity. CEIU encourages all its members to learn more about Asian history in Canada, to attend events celebrating Asian Heritage Month, and to stand up against racism and discrimination everywhere.
- Learn more:
- Important moments and leaders in Asian Canadian labour history
- Asian Canadian Labour Alliance: website, Facebook