March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racism

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, celebrated every year on March 21, was established to commemorate the day in 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid "pass laws" in Sharpeville, South Africa. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. (Resolution 2142 (XXI))

The National Union of Public and General Employees supports the UN's call to eliminate racial discrimination.

"We celebrate the work our union members do every day to fight injustice and racial discrimination in the workplace," says James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "We celebrate the partnerships they make in communities across the country to ensure equality is achieved for all.

"As communities struggle against this tide of economic uncertainty, people are being pitted against each other in many ways. Differences become dividing lines," Clancy said. "We cannot give in to the divide and conquer tactics our governments amd our employers use. We need to look for the things that join us together.

"Racism divides us. It weakens our solidarity. Demeaning others is no way to build equality and respect. Together, working with each other and our allies, we will continue to speak out against intolerance and injustice in the workplace, in our communities and in every aspect of society. On this day, and every day."

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. HSA is a component of NUPGE.