On behalf of the 270,000 CUPE members across Ontario, we offer our deepest condolences to families, friends, and co-workers who lost loved ones in the tragic crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752.

Twenty-four passengers from eight Ontario universities were on the flight, many of whom were members of CUPE academic locals. Although we are still gathering information, we have learned that CUPE members in municipal locals were also aboard and that members from other sectors may also have been lost.

“These deaths come as a devastating shock to the extended family that is our union. We grieve the passing of so many colleagues in communities across the province. We mourn with their families alongside all Ontarians,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario.

“Amidst these losses, we are reminded of the relationships we form at work, the bonds forged in common struggles, the small joys found in breaks taken together or jokes told among friends. It hurts to think these threads are so easily unravelled in the face of death but we take comfort in knowing we can never be fully disentangled from each other. ”

“To the families and friends who have lost loved ones, there are no words of comfort that can possibly be adequate at this time. But know that we are standing with you” added Janice Folk-Dawson, Chair of the Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee (OUWCC).

“Many university locals are hurting right now. We share in the grief of CUPE members and communities across Canada.”