杰出劳工工会成员,Bromley Armstrong 得奖者—郭利宇的故事

郭利宇(Liyu Guo),是一名来自中国大陆北京的第一代移民。在过去30多年的时间里,多伦多成为了她的第二故乡。在非营利机构,社会服务领域工作多年的她,一直都在为社会上的弱势群体发声。她很早就意识到,在我们身边有许多弱势群体的家庭以及孩子们,迫切的需要我们的帮助。因此,作为一名长期倡导劳工运动,以及社会公义的积极分子,她近年来,开始参加到一线工作,为多伦多千千万万个处在各行各业的弱势群体成员提供帮助,献出自己的一份绵力。

多年以来,郭利宇一直是一名诚诚恳恳的安省公共服务雇员工会地方分会594 (OPSEU Local 594)成员。身为工会干事的她,平常工作中不辞劳苦的帮助其他工会成员们解决他们工作场所中遇到的各种问题。她坚定的相信,通过工会运动建立一个强大的工会,对于保护工人的权利和福祉来说十分重要。虽然郭利宇从小生活在与加拿大文化迥然不同的中国大陆,但她对工会打小就深有感触。在她脑海里,她有许多关于工会的美好回忆。

2021年5月26日,郭利宇荣获布罗姆利·阿姆斯特朗Bromley Armstrong 奖。这个奖项是对劳工和人权运动有重大贡献的人致敬。

在发表获奖感言当晚,郭利宇感慨道 :“获得这个奖项对我来说真是不胜荣幸。我也感到这个奖项是对我所参与的华工网络的杰出贡献的表彰。我感到非常幸运,能够认识多伦多和加拿大各地劳工运动中的许多劳工积极分子,充满热情的先驱,并和他们紧密合作。我真的觉得这个奖项是对华工网络杰出工作的认可,自华工网络成立以来我一直都是其中一员。我非常感激并代表华工网络的所有兄弟姐妹接受这奖项。” (全文见附录)

作为加拿大的第一代移民,郭利宇亲身经历,也目睹了许多人在我们日常生活中遭受种族主义和种族偏见的伤害。

郭利宇认为,在我们生活中,隐性的种族主义往往难以被发现以及对抗。她相信我们可以建立强大的联盟,工会,与大家,一起抗争加拿大社会体制中种族主义的各种体现,以及一切形式的不公正与歧视。

作为OPSEU Local 594的长期工会干事与社会正义倡导者,郭利宇相信我们需要壮大工会势力,并且需要有一支充满热情的执行团队,才能更好的在工作场所为工会成员们提供支持。对于工会成员来说,良好的沟通渠道和工具也是至关重要。要是在工作场所遇到任何特殊情况或紧急情况,这些都是维护工人权益的重要因素。郭利宇觉得,成员们要在工会运动中保持紧密联系,这样才能更有效的互相支持,为正义奋斗。

对于工会在加拿大华人群体里的影响,郭利宇觉得大家可能普遍对工会起到的作用有一些误解,也许不同的政治立场与意识形态会影响一些加拿大华人对工会的看法。不管怎样,作为一名工会积极分子,她认为向大众传递工会的正能量,与其在社会进步起到的积极作用相当重要。

此外,郭利宇觉得我们需要加强我们大众传播途径与公共教育,让人们了解到工会的重要性,以及这几十年来工会在我们生活中做出的贡献。

在这个发达的信息社会里,传统媒体与社交媒体可以很好的让人们更好的了解到工会的作用。通过少数族裔语言媒体,这可以让从前不了解工会的普罗大众认识到工会的重要性。

对于想要加入工会活动的朋友们,郭利宇鼓励大家可以在工作场所里结识一些已在工会里的成员们,那将会是一个很好的起点。如果他们想要了解或者是有兴趣加入华工网络,可以与华工网络的成员保持联系,多多了解华人社区为大家作出的服务与贡献。华工网络欢迎新的成员。作为华工网络的长期成员,曾担任华工网络共同主席多年的郭利宇觉得在这个组织里,大家可以互相学习,增进了解,多多团结,并共同努力,为我们的社区建立更美好的未来。

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郭利宇获颁发布罗姆利-阿姆斯壮奖致词全文

晚上好。非常感谢你们组织这次盛会并邀请我发言。我感到谦卑和荣幸能获得提名,并于今晚获颁发这个奖项。我谨以感激之情接受这个殊荣,并代表我们所有参与华工网络的兄弟姐妹接受这个荣誉。

获得布罗姆利-阿姆斯壮奖 (Bromley Armstrong award) 对我来说真是不胜荣幸。我也感到这个奖项是对我所参与的华工网络的杰出贡献的表彰。我感到非常幸运,能够认识多伦多和加拿大各地劳工运动中的许多劳工积极分子,充满热情的先驱,并和他们紧密合作。

我知道今晚有不少华工网络成员出席这个颁奖仪式,他们的热情和智慧、他们对劳工运动的奉献和承诺,给我留下了深刻的印象。我相信,在保护我们几十年来取得的成就,保护所有工人的权利方面,我们今后仍有许多工作要做,特别是那些少数族裔工人需要有更强大的发言权、需要在我们的集体运动中发挥更大作用。

我也想借此机会向一些人致谢。首先是,我们亲爱的朋友和兄弟、多伦多及约克区劳工议会的约翰-卡特赖特 (John Cartwright)。我必须说,约翰是我在劳工运动中认识和合作最鼓舞人心和最有活力的领导人之一。没有他多年来的坚定支持和领导,华工网络的诞生和令人惊喜的发展是不可能发生的。我

还要感谢劳工议会的黄可莹 (Jennifer Huang) 和华工网络两位共同主席姜玲(Ling Jiang) 和郭旼修 (Kingsley Kwok),多谢他们多年来一直在不懈地支持我和我们的网络成员。

我相信华工网络将继续成长,在我们的集体工作中发挥重要作用,为争取工人权利和争取种族正义和种族平等而奋斗,以纪念兄弟布罗姆利-阿姆斯壮。

再次感谢颁发这个殊荣给我。感谢多伦多及约克区劳工议会平等委员会和劳工社区服务中心委员会。我期待着与大家继续合作,共同努力。

May 26, 2021


Tell me a bit about yourself, who are you and what is your day job?

My name is Liyu Guo and I’m a first-generation immigrant from mainland China and have been calling Toronto my second hometown for over 30-plus years.  I’m also a proud labour activist and social justice advocate.  I feel passionate about workers’ rights and feel very strongly about equity and equality for all. My day job is in the not-for-profit, social service field.  I have been doing advocacy work for many years, fighting poverty and inequality and advocating for better lives for families, for children and for the most disadvantaged in our society.  In more recent years, I have moved to working in the front line, serving Torontonians who are in need of our services and programs from all walks of life, especially those who are more vulnerable and less fortunate members in our city.

How did you find yourself in this field of labour/unions?  And how do you feel about receiving the Bromley Armstrong Awards?

In my day job, I have been a proud member of the OPSEU local 594 for many years and have been a union steward serving the needs of our members.  I truly believe in the union movement and feel strongly about the importance of having a strong union to protect workers’ rights and well being. I’ve had favourable memories since my childhood about the roles of unions, even though it was under a completely different cultural and social context (I grew up in mainland China).

Receiving the Bromley Armstrong award is truly a great honour for me.   I feel so honoured to get to know and work closely with so many labour activists and passionate movers and shakers in the movement.  I really feel that this award is recognition for the excellent work of CWN of which I have been a member of since its inception.  I accept this award with gratitude and on behalf of all our brothers and sisters at CWN.

Was there an incident in your life that sparked a desire for you to pursue justice for yourself and for others? (e.g. strike, discrimination at work, unfair treatment, etc)

Being a first-generation immigrant in Canada, I have first hand experience and have also witnessed so many others who suffer from racism and racial bias in our daily lives.   In addition, it is often the hidden nature of racism that is even harder to detect and fight against.  For me, I’m always hopeful we have many partners, strong unions and allies to work together. We need to challenge systemic racism and all forms of injustice and discrimination.

How do you see unions helping in the fight for workplace justice or social justice?

As a long time union steward in my OPSEU local 594 and an social justice advocate, I believe we need strong unions and we need to have a passionate team of local executive who can support its members in the workplace.  Our union members need to have good communication tools and channels to stay vigilant, well informed and can respond quickly to any issues that members experience in the workplace.  I also believe that we need to stay connected in the broader union movement and support each other more effectively in times of need.

What other relevant things should the Chinese-Canadian community know about Canadian unions?  

To me, I think there are some myths and misconceptions about the roles of unions in Canada.  It is important for us as union activists to stay alert and raise awareness of the positive and progressive roles that unions play in the workplace and in society as a whole.   As well, I think different political and ideological beliefs can impact the perceptions of some Chinese Canadians towards unions. 

In your opinion, what prevented Chinese-Canadian to participate in the labour/union movement?

We need to strengthen our public messaging and public education initiatives in order to let people know the importance of unions and what contributions unions have made in our lives over many decades.  I also think we need to make better use of traditional media and social media, especially language-specific media, to spread our message and educate our members and the public at large.

What would you recommend for people who are interested in participating in union actions, where to start?

I think if people know union members in their workplaces that’d be a good starting point.  Otherwise, if they want to get to know or join the Chinese Workers Network, they should get in touch with our members, learn more about what we believe in and what actions we plan to take.  We welcome new members and we enjoy learning from each other and working together to build a better future for all.