THUNDER BAY – The President of Ontario’s largest Union, and its first openly gay leader, arrives in Thunder Bay on Friday to celebrate with the community, CUPE members, and other trade unionists during the inaugural Thunder Pride event.
Fred Hahn, President of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Ontario) will be joined by Marlon Picken, a hospital worker from Hamilton and a member of CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle committee, to take part in the festivities and to show their support.
“CUPE Ontario is so honoured to be here, both with our CUPE Locals in Thunder Bay, and with the active support of our Pink Triangle Committee, which recognizes the important contribution Thunder Pride is making in this community, and to our entire province” said Hahn.
In addition to taking in several other events, Hahn will be at Saturday’s Pride in the Park Event at Marina Park. He’ll be joined by Picken and other CUPE Members from the area, including Marie Dean, President of CUPE Local 87. “Our Union understands that human rights and workers rights are one and the same. It’s why I’m so happy to be here to celebrate the true spirit of the North – people coming together to honour the strength that comes from the diversity of our Communities”, said Dean.
“Thunder Pride’s theme of ‘Celebrate Together’, is especially fitting, because its together that the people of the Northwest, whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or an ally and advocate of human rights, are Building a Better Ontario. I’m so proud to share in these exciting and historic events,” said Hahn.
“Building welcoming communities for everyone means coming together as a community. That’s a message I know we’ll be sharing with our members and our community allies as we gear up for the Provincial election – that we need to stand together and support candidates like Mary Kozorys in Thunder Bay-Atikokan, who is committed to bringing people together through a positive vision of building a better Thunder Bay.
CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle Committee will also be promoting its new website, prideinourwork.ca. The recently-launched website is a clearinghouse of useful information for CUPE Members and others who seek to create workplaces free of discrimination and homophobia.