Tag Archives: Mois de l’histoire des Noirs

Celebrating Black History Month 2024: Honouring Black labour leaders

February is a time to celebrate, reflect upon, and honour the significant contributions of Canadians of Black, Caribbean or African descent. This year, PSAC is taking the opportunity to highlight the importance of Black leaders in our unions and our communities and renew our support for the Black Class Action’s ongoing fight to eliminate racism and discrimination in the federal public service.

Honouring Black labour leaders: Shaping the union landscape 

The rich tapestry of Black history within the labour movement is interwoven with stories of determination and groundbreaking leadership. Black labour leaders have played a pivotal role in championing workers’ rights and influencing positive change in Canada. Their contributions have not only advanced the rights of Black workers, but also paved the way for greater inclusivity for all.

Throughout history, Black leaders within PSAC also led transformative initiatives, negotiated fair contracts, and advocated for policies that promote equality and justice in workplaces across Canada. Their commitment laid the foundation for workplaces that recognize the value of equity and diversity. There is still work to be done and PSAC acknowledges this ongoing journey through the Anti-racism action plan.

Spotlight on the Black Class Action lawsuit: Advocacy and justice 

Black federal public service workers have advanced a historic class action lawsuit to highlight the systemic discrimination, racism, and inequality within various sectors of the Federal Public Service.

The Black Class Action lawsuit serves as a means of advocacy, shedding light on the barriers Black workers face in the workplace and seeks to compel all major Canadian institutions to be accountable for their actions. This is an important legal step towards a larger conversation on the importance of reparations.

PSAC continues to call for the federal government to settle the lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of Black federal public service workers who have faced decades of discrimination and lost career advancement opportunities.

How you can get involved 

  • Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn more about the history of Black labour leaders and their contributions to shaping the union landscape iShare Stories: Throughout the month, black labour leaders from PSAC will share their insights regarding Black History Month. Use your platforms to amplify the stories of Black leaders, shedding light on their accomplishments and the challenges they’ve overcome.
  • Support Black Class Action: Stay informed about ongoing initiatives and lend your support to efforts aimed at addressing systemic issues within the workforce.

Together, let’s support the continuous efforts of Black workers in creating workplaces that are healthy, safe, and free from discrimination for everyone. 

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Celebrating Black labour leadership, creating better workplaces for all

Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Black leaders, workers, cultures and communities across Canada. Our labour movement has been shaped and fortified by the leadership of people of African and Caribbean descent, and we are proud to build and grow in solidarity together toward a more equitable future.

This Black History Month, PSAC invites you to register for a national virtual panel discussion on February 20, 2023 with Black leaders in Canada’s labour movement.

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Black History Month is about honouring Black excellence and the continued perseverance of leadership within our communities,” said Craig Reynolds, PSAC Ontario Regional Executive Vice-President, who will moderate the event.

“We have been at the forefront of the fight to end racism and discrimination, rallying for workers’ rights and transforming our labour movement into a powerful avenue for social change. Our accomplishments must be recognized, and our achievements celebrated.”

Join us to celebrate Black labour leaders in Canada. Learn about the victories and challenges faced by Black labour leaders, how they bring a more inclusive approach to labour’s agenda and are shifting the landscape towards a more equitable workplace and society for everyone.

“Black labour leaders are keeping the movement accountable to end discrimination and remove systemic barriers to make our workplaces more inclusive for everyone,” added Jan Simpson, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, who will be part of the panel.

  • What: A virtual panel discussion to celebrate Black leadership in the Canadian labour movement 
  • Who:
    • Craig Reynolds, Regional Executive Vice President for PSAC Ontario (moderator)
    • Jan Simpson, President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
    • Jason MacLean, Secretary-Treasurer, National Union of Public and General Employees
    • Marc-Édouard Joubert, President, Regional Council, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec
  • When: Monday, February 20, 6 p.m. EST

Register Now

The panel will be offered in English and French with simultaneous interpretation. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with more details about joining the panel.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Black History Month: Fighting anti-Black racism in the workplace

Black History Month is a time to honour and celebrate Black people’s past and present accomplishments, their contributions to Canadian society, and their ongoing struggle for equity. This is a time to reflect on the strength and resiliency of people of African and Caribbean descent in Canada, while committing to fight against systemic discrimination and racism in our communities.

From creating one of Canada’s first trade-labour schools in 1842, to launching a class action lawsuit challenging racism in Canada’s public service today, Black workers and labour activists were instrumental in shaping the Canadian labour movement from which we continue to benefit.

Workers’ rights and workplaces in Canada have been greatly advanced through their courage and perseverance, and Black History Month is a time to recognize and give thanks for their leadership and those victories.

Click here to continue reading this article on the PSAC website.

PSAC’s Black History Month panel discussions — now available

Black History Month Banner

As part of Black History Month 2021, PSAC organized a series of panel discussions that looked at the issues facing Black workers and to honor the contributions of Black labour activists in this country. PSAC is now making these discussions available online for everyone’s benefit. See the following page for more information.

Black History Month 2021: Time to turn the page on systemic anti-Black racism

PSAC Black History Month banner

Black History Month is a time to reflect, honour and celebrate the many contributions made by Black people and all people of Caribbean and African heritage. It is a time to recognize the important role Black people and people of Caribbean and African heritage have played in the progress and development of Canada, as well as their impact on its history and the labour movement.

It is a myth that Canada is a model of diversity and inclusion. The reality is that Canadian society has achieved neither equity nor equality for Black Canadians. Black people and people of Caribbean and African heritage have a unique history and experience in Canada that is often ignored or seen through a colonizer’s lens. The voices of Black activists are rarely heard because of the rampant racism that keeps their voices silent.

Last year, everyday life came to a screeching halt due to the pandemic. Shortly thereafter, the world witnessed the brutal murder of George Floyd, a Black man killed deliberately, and violently, by the police. Finally, there was a recognition of entrenched systemic anti-Black racism, not only in law enforcement but throughout our society. For many who experience anti-Black racism on a regular basis, they understand that it was not an isolated incident, but rather a pattern going back to the time of slavery. The killing of George Floyd is yet another example of the failure of society to value Black lives.

George Floyd’s death mobilized people across the world to action. People want to discuss and tackle issues of systemic anti-Black racism and we are witnessing the creation and organization of panel discussions, workshops, demonstrations, media reports, the forming of diversity and inclusion workplace committees, the collection of disaggregated data, development of anti-racism strategies and so on. For example, the Canadian federal government has recently made a commitment to addressing systemic racism in the federal public service and society. But let us not forget that the reality is that anti-Black racism is prevalent at all levels of society. Dismantling anti-Black racism requires foundational societal and attitudinal changes, not to mention on-going individual learning to undo unconscious bias. There must be condemnation and accountability of those who resist efforts of anti-Black racism initiatives and promote white supremacy.

There are many Black, Caribbean or African heritage voices calling for justice, equity and equality in our workplaces and communities. Black voices must be heard, Black contributions must be recognized, and Black lives must be valued. It is time to turn the page on systemic anti-Black racism because Black Lives Matter.

PSAC invites you to celebrate Black accomplishments and hear Black voices during this important month. Black activists and Black history will be highlighted on our website throughout the month of February. Join the conversation and be the change!

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.