AWOC Committee Report June 2020

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Sisters and Brothers,

There is no question that over the past few months the coronavirus pandemic has caused many challenges for people globally – including the recent BLM protests happening in various countries around the world. The issue of race is one of the core issues subsequent to the pandemic and the structural inequalities for the BIPOC community.

Covid-19: Many of these factors include racialized communities experiencing higher rates of poverty, precarious work, food insecurity, and less access to quality health services. More recently, two migrant workers have died in Windsor, Ontario, due to Covid-19 as Ontario farms have increased in new pandemic cases.

In recreating the narrative around these health disparities and systematic issues, Unifor National and all Regional members have sent letters to their Provincial Premiers demanding the collection of race-based Data. The processing of race-based data will bring forth clarity about which racialized communities are more at risk during a national crisis and the best ways for addressing inequitable healthcare and resources that still exist for migrant workers.

BLM Protests: I’ll be honest, as the Chair of the AWOC committee, it’s been hard to cultivate the right words to say about the current state of social injustices. As a committee, we stand with our local brothers & sisters and share the same sentiments about the Black community – we must continue to work together collectively and educate one another. Take this time to ask yourself, ‘what can I do differently’? Thankfully, Unifor National has provided us with resources on ‘Working Together for Racial Justice’:

During the month of June, we celebrate pride month, honouring LGBT2Q+ within our community.

On June 21, we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, recognizing the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

In Solidarity,

Constance Brown,

AWOC Chair Representative