SOCIAL JUSTICE AND DIVERSITY

In 2020, we witnessed your resilient spirit, dedication, and heroic efforts, as you served our city every day, throughout this devastating pandemic. 2020 also presented us with other stark realities. The disparities that exist between communities and the systemic racism that remains deeply rooted in our society.

 Systemic racism is the practice of complex forms of discrimination that limit the ability of people of colour, particularly Indigenous and Black, to participate fully in society, and deprives them of human rights and dignity. 

To understand the depth and scope of racism in Canada, the Executive Board, Shop Stewards and Staff of ATU 113 participated in Anti-Black Racism Training. We continue to learn about global and grassroot efforts to challenge systemic racism. Through our discussions with you, and through research, we have learned that members of ATU Local 113 want to play a greater role in fighting systemic racism, as well as, helping our communities.

The challenges that we are presented with, in our time, are an evolution and extension of the same issues that we have always been fighting. Social Justice is the same principle that lies at the very foundation of ATU Local 113 that drives us to fight for the rights and dignity of public transit workers. By using this framework of social justice, we can focus our efforts on fixing the systems – so that they offer equal access to tools and opportunities.

ATU 113 must move forward with a clear purpose and commitment to help bring about social and organizational change, for diversity, equity and inclusion to exist and thrive. We can meet these challenges by using the framework of social justice for all our efforts.

THE IMPACT WE WANT TO CREATE

Social Justice means fixing the system to offer equal access to both tools and opportunities

HOW DO WE FIGHT FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE?

  1. Identify the barriers to social justice as they occur, in the form of disparity of opportunity and discrimination based on race, religion, color, creed, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, citizenship, or national origin, among others.
  2. Recognize, reduce, and remove barriers to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in our workplace, in our union and in our society.
  3. Lead the way in connecting the working class and the labour movementin the fight for social justice, equity, rights and dignity in workplaces and society.

OUR APPROACH TO ACCOMPLISH THIS

Phase 1 – Capacity Building

  • Establish how Social Justice principles will be embedded in our 6 key functions: Collective Bargaining, Representation of Members, Organizing, Campaigns for Better Transit, Civic Action and Community Outreach
  • Consultations, EducationTools and Training to have a deeper understanding of Racism, Gender Equity, Environment, Transit Issues and The Labour Movement

Phase 2 – Program Development

  • Identify and develop need-based initiatives

 Phase 3 – Implement and Assess Impact

  • We will implement programs and review our progress

Most importantly, this effort will require all of us to work together.

I am proposing we commit to using this Social Justice Framework in all our efforts to help achieve meaningful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our union, in our workplace and our City, and to be the voice and ally for the struggles of the working class.

In the weeks and months ahead, you will hear more about this initiative. We have an opportunity to create a new path forward.

Let us fight together for social justice for all.

Carlos Santos
President / Business Agent
ATU Local 113