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Only Fair Is Fair. Income Inequality Isn’t

National Union Launches “Fairness Express” Bus Tour To Combat Growing Wage Gaps

Update: The Fairness Express will be visiting:

  • Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth, on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 11:30am
  • Yarmouth International Airshow, on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 10 am
  • Yarmouth Terry Fox Run on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1:30pm
  • Halifax’s Spring Garden Road on Monday, Sept. 16
  • Loyalist Country Inn in Summerside, PEI on Monday, Sept. 16
  • Queens County Fair in Caledonia on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 10 am

Is it fair that the incomes of most Atlantic Canadians have stagnated for two decades while the earnings of the richest few have skyrocketed? That corporations horde the money we give them even hide it offshore instead of reinvesting it in our economy? That the rich are exerting more and more influence on our lives, livelihoods, and democracies?
The 350,000 members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) don’t think so, and we don’t think the majority of Atlantic Canadians do either. So this fall, we’re hitting the highways and
biways to spark conversations about the growing inequality between those who have money and power and the rest of us who don’t.

We’re calling it “The Fairness Express” and it’s coming soon to your community. It’s a rolling roadshow of public service employees from all four Atlantic provinces (who are members NUPGE through their
memberships in the local unions NAPE, NBU, NSGEU, and PEIUPSE) who are committed to turning the tide against this growing inequality. This definitely isn’t your typical union rally: it’s a celebration of the good
we can do when we together the good for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country.

Why are we focussing on income inequality? Because it isn’t just unfair, it’s outright destructive.

As public service workers, we know firsthand that growing income inequality is ravaging our communities. People have to work more and go deeper in debt just to tread water, and more and more are falling through
the cracks, coming to us for the help and support that we are struggling to provide in this era of tax cuts, privatization, and public service rollbacks.

NUPGE National President James Clancy calls growing income inequality “the scourge of our times.” He’s not the only one. U.S. President Barack Obama calls it the most pressing economic issue facing the White
House. UK Prime Minister David Cameron says it hurts society “according to almost every quality of life indicator.” The International Monetary fund says it threatens economic and social stability around the world. And billionaire investor Warren Buffett says if left unchecked, it will destroy our democracies.

Income inequality is on the rise in Canada, but it’s not on our governments’ agendas. The Fairness Express is meant to change that. As we travel from community to community, we’ll be gathering and publicizing
stories from people about how income inequality is hurting their lives and their families. We’ll also be reminding people that growing income inequality is not inevitable. It doesn’t have to be this
way. As trade unionists who belong to democratic organizations that empower members to stand up for what they believe, we’ll be encouraging everybody we meet to demand that their politicians begin to deal
with this issue in a meaningful way. We’ll listen to people’s suggestions about how this can best be done, and explain our own four point
plan:

  • Ensure Tax Fairness: Ensure corporations and the wealthy are paying their fair share and tha those with too little aren’t overburdened.
  • Strengthen Public Services: Public education, public health care, and public social services. Ensure that everybody has an equal shot at a prosperous and productive life.
  • Create a Modern Industrial Strategy: For too long, our politicians have focussed on growing our economy through race to the bottom trade deals and the simple extraction and export of our natural resources. It’s time to build industries and economies that put people and nature first.
  • Protect Labour Rights: Unions ensure decent wages, safe workplaces, and secure livelihoods. They also foster the greater good, leading the charge for things like Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan, and respect for the basic human rights of women, minorities, people who are gay, lesbian, or transgendered, and people with disabilities.

The tour launches on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth. On Sunday, Sept 15, we’ll be at the air show at the Yarmouth International Airport. Through the day on Monday, Sept. 16, we’ll be near Spring Garden Road in Halifax where we’re sponsoring the 2:30 pm screening of some fantastic short documentaries at the Atlantic Film Festival. On the evening of Monday, Sept. 16, we’ll be at the Loyalist Country Inn in Summerside, PEI, to take part in the Health Accord Town Hall being organized by our brothers and sisters in the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). On Wednesday, Sept. 18, we’ll be at the Queens County Fair in Caledonia.

To find out more about the tour and the other events we’ll be participating in through to the end of October, please visit www.alltogethernow.nupge.ca
or contact NUPGE National Representatives
Andy Pedersen (apedersen@nupge.ca, 6138538255 or 6137106743)
or
Len Bush (lbush@nupge.ca, 6138538255 or 6138509337)

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