Weekend Video: A Struggle to Remember – Fighting for our Families

CupeMaternityMaternity and parental leave is not a right or privilege given to workers by benevolent employers or progressive governments. It is a right that was fought for and won by progressive unions and a supportive public. In 1981 the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) became the first union to gain a 17 week maternity leave. Soon other public and private sector unions negotiated maternity leave clauses in their contracts and the initiative and drive to make it a universal right for all working women expanded and grew until governments began to actually pay attention. We now have parental leave. We should never forget that it was organized labour that fought for, negotiated and won those rights for all Canadians.

 

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