CUPE celebrates 50th anniversary

QUÉBEC: The Canadian Union of Public Employees is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week at its biennial convention, being held October 21 – 25 in Québec City.

Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, welcomed over 3,000 delegates, staff and guests to the five-day gathering.

“This week we celebrate five decades of accomplishments to make Canada a better place for workers and to make our communities a better place to live for all Canadians,” said Moist in his address to the convention.

“We have much to be proud of and much to celebrate, but we will also be planning and preparing for the work ahead,” said Moist. “By reconnecting with our members and working together we can build on our past to strengthen pensions, fight for decent wages and build a fairer Canada for everyone.”

Also addressing the convention today was Charles Fleury, national secretary-treasurer.

“Our union is on a solid foundation. We have the resources to stand up for our members and all Canadian workers,” said Fleury in his speech to convention delegates. “Over the coming days, you will set our priorities for the next two years knowing we are in it for the long term to build a stronger fighting team inside CUPE and beyond. You will set our course to fairness.”

Speakers at the convention will include Thomas Mulcair, leader of the official opposition and the NDP, Rosa Pavanelli, general secretary of Public Service International, and Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Council. There will also be a thought provoking panel discussion on re-inventing the labour movement.

The national biennial convention is the key decision making body for CUPE, Canada’s largest union with over 627,000 members.