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CUPE Ontario joins our members in the celebration of Asian Heritage Month. The Asian community is incredibly diverse. Members of the Asian community strengthen multiculturalism and, this month. will take the opportunity to share their culture, traditions and achievements across Canada.
Asian Canadians’ experience in this country has been anything but easy. The first Chinese immigrants were worked, sometimes literally, to death, on the railways that stitched Canada into a nation. During the Second World War, Canadians of Japanese descent were interned as enemy aliens, although many had been in this country for generations.
Toda, thousands of Asian women are exploited as nannies who have little hope of ever enjoying citizenship. The errors of history are today repeated in the exploitation of Temporary Foreign Workers from Asia. Many live in isolation from their own communities, social services and legal assistance. This occurs although they still pay taxes and unemployment premiums. This month is a time to stand in solidarity with these exploited workers.
CUPE Ontario joins our Asian community in commemorating the contributions that Asian workers have made in our membership and in our culture. CUPE Ontario is sponsoring a film by Gemini nominated Min Sook Lee on the subject of the attack on unionized workers brought on by the current economic downturn. This film will premiere at the CUPE Ontario convention in Toronto commencing May 27, 2009.
Asian Heritage Month is yet another opportunity to reflect on the reality that the diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Many people make a nation and the celebration of our differences makes us stronger.