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THUNDER BAY, ON – Marlon Picken, CUPE Ontario’s newly elected Diversity Vice-President, LGBTQ, will march in Thunder Bay’s inaugural Pride Parade on Saturday.

“I’m thrilled to be marching in Thunder Bay with our members, who are an integral part of this community’s fabric, providing vital public services to everyone,” said Picken. “Winning equality has always been a struggle for LGBTQ people, and events like this are important to building strong communities.”

Picken, a hospital worker from Hamilton, was elected at CUPE Ontario’s 50th Convention in Toronto last month.

“We work with community activists, politicians and other labour groups to create safe, harassment-free workplaces and communities,” said Picken. “LGBTQ issues are workplace issues, they are our members’ issues, and together we are building on an important history of anti-discrimination work.”

Celebrating 50 years of building a better Ontario, CUPE pioneered the use of collective bargaining to advance equality and anti-harassment policies in the workplace.  CUPE was also at the forefront of legal challenges that resulted in landmark decisions leading to same-sex spousal benefits and the re-listing of gender reassignment surgery with OHIP.

“I am proud of the work we do to end discrimination and harassment in our workplaces and our communities, through collective bargaining, political campaigning and community outreach,” said Marie Dean, president of CUPE Local 87, representing Thunder Bay municipal workers, including workers in social services, animal control and social housing. “We are marching today because we believe in equality and we will always stand up for fairness.”

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing the quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards and universities.

For more information, please contact

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316

[email protected]