In May we celebrate Asian Heritage Month, and also South Asian Heritage Month.
Since May 2002 the federal government has officially recognized it, but people across the country have celebrated Asian Heritage Month in May since the 1990s.
It’s a time to celebrate the impact of Asian heritage on our arts and culture, industry, innovation, sports, and every part of society. In particular this year, there are additional events in partnership with Canada 150, recognizing the richness of Asian-Canadian experience since confederation.
We especially value the contributions by workers of Asian heritage to CUPW and to the Labour movement more broadly. Asian migrants and Asian Canadians have faced danger, exploitation and discrimination in workplaces all through Canada’s history, and still confront racism, Islamophoobia, and other forms of oppression in working life and life as a whole.
By organizing in workplaces and communities, workers of Asian heritage have overturned many discriminatory laws and practices over the decades, and have fought racism and discrimination in our working lives, to the benefit of all. But we’re are still fighting issues like the racist implications of some anti-terror policies and laws, abuses of the Temporary Foreign Workers program, and other labour practices that unfairly exploit workers of Asian heritage.
We hope all Asian Canadian members express pride in Asian heritage this month. All members, please find and support events and projects in your area that help foreground the contributions of workers with Asian heritage to our communities. Asian heritage includes a deep and diverse collection of cultural identities, and we are stronger in our struggle when we find unity in diversity.