In response to the ongoing tragedy in the Middle East, many of you have been writing to us to ask OPSEU/SEFPO to take a stronger position – to call for a ceasefire and to join the millions of people who have been on the streets, marching in support of an immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine and to end the unprecedented humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza.
Working with our National Union, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), we have aimed to take a thoughtful position that reflects our values as trade unionists. We are proud that as a national body, we are able to speak to the Canadian government with one voice. NUPGE speaks not just with the weight of OPSEU/SEFPO’s 180,000 members but for all 425,000 plus NUPGE members across Canada. As OPSEU/SEFPO leaders we sit on the NUPGE National Executive Board and we share NUPGE’s statements with members because they are our positions too.
On October 12th NUPGE released a statement denouncing the Hamas attacks on Israel and the retribution by the State of Israel on the people of Palestine. NUPGE called for a ceasefire by both parties and has been demanding the enforcement of international law. NUPGE has endorsed the Ceasefire Now coalition – which is a coalition of labor, civil society and faith based organizations. The Ceasefire Now coalition supports the Canadian government in calling for humanitarian aid and for the safe return of all hostages. But the Coalition is also calling for a ceasefire which our government has – to-date – resisted.
The Ceasefire coalition is calling for a pan-Canadian day of action for peace on Sunday, November 12, to put pressure on our federal government to join the growing international consensus for peace now.
It’s time for all of us to join other NUPGE components, unions and civil society and faith groups, en masse.
These actions will be peaceful, inclusive, and family-friendly events. Hate of any kind will not be tolerated.
In Toronto, OPSEU/SEFPO members and staff will be gathering in Nathan Phillips Square at 1pm. Look for our flags and join us. We will be part of a large labour contingent joining civil society and faith groups in the call for an immediate peace because our movement is built on the foundation of peace and justice.
There are dozens of actions being organized across Ontario, and across the country. Click on the link below to find an event close to you:
The Prime Minister needs to live up to our historic reputation as peacemakers and call for a ceasefire now.
That’s why we are taking action on Sunday, November 12.
JP Hornick and Laurie Nancekivell