我的名字是郭旼修（Kingsley Kwok）。我現在是安省公共雇員工會分會575（OPSEU Local 575） 主席。575分會代表士嘉堡醫院網絡的1,000 多名衛生專業人員和頤康老年護理中心的家庭支援工作者。我在士嘉堡全科醫院的重症監護和急診部門任職註冊呼吸治療師。自2020年3月COVID-19大流行開始以來，我一直在前線工作。我還擔任士嘉堡衛生聯盟的主席，該聯盟是安省衛生聯盟（Ontario Health Coalition）的屬會，積極宣導公共醫療保健。我也是華工網絡（Chinese Workers Network）共同主席，積極促進加拿大華人社區的勞工權利和義務。
Kingsley – compassion and mission – join the labour movement
My name is Kingsley Kwok. I am the president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 575 representing over 1,000 allied health professionals at Scarborough Hospital Network and home support workers at Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. Working full-time as a Registered Respiratory Therapist in critical care and emergency departments at Scarborough General Hospital, I have been on the frontlines since the COVID-19 pandemic emergency started in March 2020. I also chair the Scarborough Health Coalition, which is part of the Ontario Health Coalition, actively advocating for public healthcare. I am also the co-chair of Chinese Workers Network, actively promoting labour rights and obligations to the Chinese Canadian community.
I have the compassion and sense of mission to represent union members in fighting for their labour rights at work.
I got involved in the labour movement to fight for our rights at work and achieve improvements in the collective agreement. Responding to pandemic emergency directives and employer mandates have been the biggest challenges in the workplace. Fighting racism and Islamophobia in the community has been another challenge. Joining the union is often the only help on which workers rely for workplace justice. In 2018 I got the Charter of Inclusive Workplaces and Communities submitted as a convention resolution at my union and delegates voted to adopt it. The Charter of Inclusive Communities is a powerful statement that those who endorse it remain committed to the core values of which Canadians are so rightfully proud: equality, respect, justice, and the dignity of all persons.
Although I juggle my union responsibilities as President along with working full-time and being a husband and father, but my passion for advocating for labour rights is constantly growing. As a frontline worker during the pandemic, I see the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on people every single day with needless deaths, and real and visible impacts on workers. I have seen workers who have lost their jobs because they had to phone in sick. I have seen women, men and pregnant women, young people and entire families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This makes me believe even more that my union and other unions are often the only help the workers can rely on and trust for workplace justice.
I have put my name forward for the NDP in a few federal and provincial elections now because he believes that the issues he sees people facing every day need to be stopped or alleviated. The list of issues he thinks residents in the Greater Toronto Area face are: the terrible deaths in long-term care homes, the workplace health and safety issues, the growth of Islamophobia in Canada, and the verbal abuses and threats that racial minorities endure, along with the crisis in affordable housing and environmental issues that are a result of climate change. He believes that a universal child care program along with income support would take the pressure off of families, especially for women. As he states, “many women had to leave their jobs during the pandemic because of the pressures to look after children during virtual school and other family members who may be elderly or sick with Covid-19.”
However, many people continue to support the Liberals and Conservatives because old voting habits die slowly and there is a lack of knowledge about the NDP. Not enough people are talking to each other about important matters like good jobs, the quality of life, or the effects of climate change but are instead talking about the weather, the Maple Leafs or the Blue Jays. But I believe, little by little, Canadians – which includes Chinese-Canadians – will slowly see the NDP as the party that better represents their interest.
Regardless of race and language barriers, Canadian unions put all workers’ labour rights as their focus and first priority. In my point of view, there’s nothing preventing Chinese Canadian to participate in the labour movement or their unions. Many stewards of Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 575 are Chinese Canadian including myself. The Chinese Workers Network Steering Committee is composed of stewards of Chinese heritage in different unions. We are all proud to represent our co-workers and fight for their labour rights at work.
Connect with me at Chinese Workers Network if you have any questions or concerns about joining a union or taking action, I will try my best to help.