勞工議會新主席Andria就職演辭

辭多倫多及約克區勞工議會慶祝成立150周年之際,迎來了第一位黑人女主席。創造歷史的安德里亞-巴賓頓 (Andria Babbington) 也是加拿大第一位擔任地區勞工議會主席的有色人種婦女。她於6月3日宣誓就任多倫多和約克區勞工議會主席。

以下是她的就職演辭翻譯全文:

謝謝,約翰;謝謝,朋友們!

我深感謙卑地接受這一職位,並擔任這個偉大的勞工議會的主席!我期待著與你們每一個人合作,推動這個組織向前發展,並同它一起建立一個強大的、奮戰的勞工運動。

我很榮幸今天能從一開始就是土著人民居住的土地上加入你們。

作為 Ojibway、Anishinaabe 和 Mississauga’s of the Credit 祖傳領土上的定居者,我了解到該領土受上加拿大條約的保護。我很感激有機會在這裡生活和工作。

我必須認識到,非洲人後裔和土著人民在這個大陸上有著不同但極度相似的歷史。500多年來,殖民主義的殘暴束縛和塑造了我們的文化。

如前所述,我還須要認識最近在Kamloops印第安寄宿學校發現215名兒童的死亡,這對我們今天在這裡的大多數人和許多勞工議會成員都很重要。

這些悲慘的死亡是違反人性的罪行,是加拿大長期種族滅絕歷史的一部分,一直持續到今天。我們哀悼這一悲慘的損失,並向兒童的家人和朋友表示最誠摯的慰問。

我感謝幾千年來一直照顧這片土地的每一代人,我請求祖先和長輩繼續指導和照顧我們。

朋友們,我們前面的道路將是艱難的。過去幾年對多倫多和約克區的工人來說是難以置信的挑戰,而COVID-19大流行只會加劇工人每天現實生活上的鬥爭和不平等。

從勞工運動來看,勞工不可能不了解這一現實。 老闆們沒有放過一個壓榨工人的好機會,我相信你們都同意我們正在失勢。但我知道,從這麼多年與大家合作,這表示不放棄,這表示有工作要做,我們可以完成很多事。

在過去18個月中,我們目睹了公共服務資金不足,和私有化對長期護理院造成喪失生命可怕的悲慘後果。

我們已經看到,在這場危機中背負著這個國家的工人被譽為「英雄」,卻被當作流氓對待。

我們看到婦女參與勞動的人數降至30年來的最低點,沒有迅速恢復的跡象。

而且,我們看到這種流行病暴露了許多人早就知道的:經濟不平等和系統性種族主義,不僅僅是我們邊界以南的鄰國所面臨的問題。這是一個痛苦的現實,在北美,在這裡,以及在我們的地區。

各位,是時候改變了!

這是傾聽和尊重工人的聲音, 感受他們的憤怒和伸張正義的時候。

為了實現變革,為了實現所有工人的正義和尊嚴,我們必須願意參與奮戰行動。

我們站在一個歷史性十字路口的懸崖邊上,今天本次會議個人的決定和行動將決定子孫後代今後的生活。

各位,我知道這個重任的重擔落在我們肩上。但是,我們不能被眼前的事情嚇倒。

我們對我們的成員和這地區每一個工人的責任,要求我們昂首站著,為工作場所幾十年來從未見過的奮戰和警惕程度做好準備。

作為你們的勞工議會主席,我的首要任務是制定策略,改善所有工人的工作和生活條件。

如果我們想在工作場所贏取利益,我們必須準備好參與政治。

我們必須努力確保工人獲得公正復原。在我們為即將到來的 2022 年省選做準備時,首先要動員我們的成員並策略性地與勞工議會聯繫起來。

各位,在這場危機中,道格-福特和他的保守黨政府每時每刻都辜負了安省省民。

我們不能讓他和他的親信再掌權一天。

我們必須努力確保工人在明年夏天的投票中處於優先地位,健康和安全條例不再被置於次要地位。

現在也是開始為明年的市政選舉做準備的時候了。

我們知道,市議會和教育委員的候選人必須在新年初敲定。

我想我們都同意, 我們需要更多對勞工友好的候選人競選多倫多和約克區的席位….相信我們的行動計劃,把人放在利潤之前的候選人。

我相信我們可以使這個願景成為現實,我已經捲起袖子開始工作了。

我們知道我們面前有很多工作和挑戰。

幸運的是,我們都可以鼓起勇氣,而我們不是從零開始的。

儏出的領導人,如約翰,以及在過去150年裡許領導過勞工議會的人的歷史,已經培養了我們在未來幾年將依賴的力量。

我們的基礎雄厚,我們的勞工社區根基根深蒂固。

我想不出有更好方式來紀念在我們前面鬥爭的歷史人物,惟有繼承責任繼續為我們整個地區爭取正義。

可以理解的是,勞工議會已經將近20年沒有更換領導層。我對一些成員可能感到的擔憂並不是莫不關心。

但是,你可以放心,我致力於無縫過渡,這將使我能夠有效地利用本議會的資源,為我們的成員提供最好的結果。

在未來幾周和幾個月裡,我將繼續聽取、學習和收集會員、附屬機構和工會負責人的反饋。我想聽聽我們集體想把勞工議會帶到哪裡去。然後,我們可以一起把我們日益增長的不滿和理解結合成行動。

我們的目標是有價值的。我們的地球是值得拯救的。

人們應該生活在和平中。

我堅信我們的子孫應該繼承一個更美好的世界。所以,讓我們為我們所有人贏得它。 我希望你和我在一起。

謝謝。

觀看安德里亞-巴賓頓歷史性的就職典禮。

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Labour Council new president Andria’s Inaugural speech

As the Toronto and York Region Labor Council celebrated its 150th anniversary, it welcomed the first racialized woman president. Andrea Babington, who made history, was also Canada’s first woman of color to serve as the president of a regional labor council. On June 3rd Andria Babbington officially swore in as the new president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council. Below is her inaugural speech:

Thank you, John, and thank you, friends.

I am deeply humbled to accept this position, and to serve as President of this great Council! I look forward to working with every one of you to propel this organization forward and with it, build a strong, fighting labour movement.

I am privilege to be joining you today from land that has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples from the beginning.

As a settler on the Ancestral Traditional Territories of the Ojibway, the Anishinaabe and the Mississauga’s of the Credit, I have learned that this territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties. I am grateful for the opportunity to live and work here.

I must acknowledge that people of African descent and Indigenous peoples have different but parallel histories on this continent. The brutality of colonialism has bound and shaped our cultures for over 500 years.

As mentioned earlier, I also want to recognize the recent discovery of 215 Children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School which is important for most of us here today and many Council members.

These tragic deaths are a crime against humanity that is part of Canada’s long history of genocide that continues to this day. We mourn this tragic loss and extend our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the Children.

I thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land – for thousands of years and I ask the ancestors and the elders to continue to guide and watch over us.

Friends, the road ahead of us will be a hard one. The past few years have been incredibly challenging for workers in the Toronto & York Region, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the struggles and inequality that is the daily reality for workers.

As a movement, labour cannot be ignorant of this reality. The bosses did not let a good opportunity to gouge workers pass them by, and I’m sure you all agree we are losing ground. But I know, from so many years of work with all of you, that it doesn’t mean giving up. It means there is work to be done – and much we can accomplish.

In the last 18 months, we have witnessed the dire consequences of underfunding and privatization of public services in the tragic loss of life in long-term care homes.

We have seen the workers who carried this country on their backs through this crisis hailed as “heroes,” but treated like villains.

We have seen women’s participation in the workforce drop to a 30-year low, with no signs of recovering quickly.

And, we have seen the pandemic expose what many have long known: that economic inequality and systemic racism are not just problems our neighbours south of the border live with. It is a painful reality in northern Turtle Island, and here in our region as well.

Folx, it is time for a change!

It is time for workers’ voices to be heard and respected, for their anger to be felt, and for justice to be done.

For change to happen, and for justice and dignity to be achieved for all workers, we must be willing to engage in militant action.

We stand at the precipice of a historic crossroad, and the decisions and actions of the individuals at this meeting today will determine the lives of future generations for years to come.

Folx, I know the weight of this heavy responsibility falls on our shoulders. But we cannot be daunted by what lies ahead of us.

Our duty to our members, and to every single working person in this region, requires us to stand tall and prepare for a level of militancy and vigilance in the workplace that has not been seen for decades.

As your Council president, my priority is to develop a strategy to improve working and living conditions for all workers.

If we want to win gains in our workplaces, and we must be prepared to engage politically.

We must fight to ensure a Just Recovery for workers. And that starts by mobilizing our membership and strategically engaging the Council as we gear up for the impending 2022 provincial election.

Folx, Doug Ford and his Conservative government failed Ontarians at every turn during this crisis.

We cannot allow him and his cronies to hold on to power for even a day longer.

We must fight to ensure that workers are at the top of the ballot next summer, and health and safety regulations are no longer put on the back burner.

It is also time to start preparing for next year’s municipal election.

We know that candidates for City Council, and the Board of Education must be finalized early in the new year.

I think we can all agree that we need more labour-friendly candidates running for office in Toronto and York Region.… candidates who believe in our action program to put people before profits.

I believe we can make this vision a reality, and I have already rolled up my sleeves to start working.

We admitted have a lot of work and challenges ahead of us.

Fortunately, we can all take heart that we are not starting from scratch.

The history of great leaders, like John, and many others who have steered this Labour Council for the past 150 years have developed the muscles we will rely upon in the coming years.

Our foundation is strong, and the roots of our labour community run deep.

I can think of no better way to honour the historical struggles of those who have come before us than to pick up their mantle and continue the ongoing fight for justice for all our region!

Understandably, it’s been almost 20 years since the council has had a change in leadership. I’m not insensitive of the concerns some members may feel.

But you can rest assure – that I am committed to a seamless transition, which will enable me to effectively use the resources of this Council to deliver the best results for our membership.

In the coming weeks and months ahead, I am and will continue to listen, learn and gather feedback from members, affiliates and heads of unions. I want to hear where we collectively want to take the Council.

Then together, we can knit our growing discontent and understanding into action.

Our goals are worthy. Our planet is worth saving.

People deserve to live in peace.

And I firmly believe our children and grandchildren deserve to inherit a better world.

So, let’s win it for us all. I hope you are with me.

Thank you.

Watch the historic inauguration of Andria Babbington