VANCOUVER – Canada Border Services Officers and members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s component, the Customs and Immigration Union, will be participating for the first time in full uniform in a Pride parade on Sunday, Aug. 2.
Steve Pellerin-Fowlie, who has been working as a Front-line Customs and Immigration Officer for 21 years, will be among those marching in full uniform during the Vancouver parade along with other members of the CIU Vancouver District Branch. Pellerin-Fowlie is also the Third National Vice-President of CIU and has been a labour activist since 1985.
“Our union and the labour movement in general have always fought for human rights, equality and diversity and against discrimination of any type in all parts of society,” says Pellerin-Fowlie. “Our participation in the parade is another way for our union of public service workers to express continuing commitment to that struggle and solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community. We see this as a first in what we hope will be a long series of participation by our members in pride parades across Canada in years to come.”
PSAC and CIU have lobbied management at the Canada Border Services Agency for years to authorize the participation of Border Services Officers in pride parades in full CBSA uniform. The CIU members’ march this Sunday marks a change in CBSA policy and is the first time such participation has been authorized.
“It’s been only one of many struggles we’ve had with our employer on LGBT issues,” says CIU National President Ron Moran. “In our past rounds of collective bargaining with Treasury Board, the PSAC has been negotiating for recognition and protection of lesbian and gay relationships and their families. We continued that fight even in our very first round of collective bargaining with the more recently formed CBSA.”
The CIU represents about 11,500 workers at CBSA responsible for the planning, development, delivery and management of the inspection and control of people and goods entering Canada.
For information: Ron Moran, National President, CIU, (613) 723-8008, ext. 301 Steve Pellerin-Fowlie, 3rd National Vice-President, CIU, (403) 836-5222
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