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Postal workers' union, Shunpiking publish Black History tabloid

HALIFAX (5 February 2007) - THE National Human Rights Committee of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is teaming up with Shunpiking Magazine to publish a special four-page Black History Month tabloid for its members.

English- and French-language editions are being released across Canada by February 15th on the occasion of Black History Month and the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade on 27 March 2007.

Co-ordinator Dennis Lemelin says there is widespread interest in the special initiative.

An editorial note introducing the publication states: "The members of CUPW's National Human Rights Committee consider it very important to highlight the key dates and events that have marked the workers' struggle against discrimination in all its forms.

"Black History Month provides an opportunity to think about the need to fight against racism and its devastating effects on our sisters and brothers of African ancestry. We hope that reading the following texts will help you reflect on this struggle and encourage you to discuss these issues in your work place."

In an e-mail to shunpiking, Guy LaFlamme, who is working on translating the text into French, wrote that the edition "is great, very informative. I'm very happy that CUPW has decided to publish this piece."

Atlantic Regional Director Fred Furlong said CUPW is opposed to the discriminatory hiring policy of Canada Post. He said that the Truro post office, which is within spitting distance of the Millbrook First Nations reserve, does not employ one single Mi'kmaq worker.

Internationally, he said that Canada Post is actively participating in the neo-liberal program being carried out under the aegis of the World Bank of the privatization of assets of different states such as telecommunications at the expense of the members of those societies.

The working class of the world consists not simply of white European and Canadian workers but overwhelmingly of the dark workers of Asia, Africa, the islands of the sea, and South and Central America. These are the ones who are supporting a superstructure of wealth, luxury and extravagance. It is the rise of these people that is the rise of the world and postal workers are actively supporting their struggles for their rights as a component part of their own struggle in Canada.

In 2003, the CUPW Atlantic Region provided material support to ensure a broad publication of Shunpiking Magazine's acclaimed Dossier on Palestine. CUPW has developed solid fraternal links with the postal workers of the Republic of Cuba, sponsoring cross-Canada tours of Cuban trade unionists to inform Canadian workers and the public of the actual realities of the socialist island in the Caribbean. CUPW has recently established direct solidarity links with Bolivian postal workers and the indigenous movement, sponsored a Canadian speaking tour in November, 2006 and has plans for a follow-up , as Canadian Immigration officials refused to allow some of the invited guests to participate in the first leg of the tour.

The collective of postal workers has long inscribed on their struggle, "An injury to one is an injury to all; All for one and one for all."

The CUPW National Policy on Racism (D-16) declares: "The Union is opposed to racism in all its forms. We recognize it as a tool used by government and big business to divide the working class."





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