The Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA) stands in solidarity with Marie Clarke Walker and all trade unionists in our on-going struggle for a society free of all forms of oppression.
Unfortunately, sometimes the organizations meant to affect positive social change, such as the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), instead replicate and reinforce the inequalities we stand against.
Systemic oppression is a daily reality for many of us both outside and inside our own unions. It is also a reality that has been well-documented by the CLC itself (see its 1997 report: Challenging Racism: Going Beyond Recommendations).
On April 23, 2014 Marie Clarke Walker, CLC Executive Vice-President, sent an open letter to the CLC Executive and her own union the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
She outlines the abuse and history of sexism and racism she and others have experienced at the hands of CLC President Ken Georgetti. Ken Georgetti`s responded to this letter on April 25th, 2014. While individuals must be held accountable for their actions, we must also recognize the organizational culture that allows such behaviour to be tolerated. Regardless of who wins the CLC Presidency at our upcoming convention, these concerns need to be addressed so that our movement is inclusive of all workers.
ACLA wants to seize this opportunity for the labour movement to address the systemic forms of oppression at play, regardless of who wins the CLC Presidency because this is a systemic issue and it goes beyond individuals.
Ken Georgetti’s Response Letter:
Asian Canadian Labour Alliance