The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) proudly represents 2 million members throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, including 120,000 across Canada.
We are janitors and housekeepers. We are personal support workers and nurses. We are factory workers and healthcare workers. We are paramedics and security officers. We care and we serve, all of us.
War, famine, ecological devastation, religious and ethnic persecution. These are just some of the reasons people make the difficult journey to Canada.
Many of our union brothers and sisters are new Canadians, including immigrants and refugees from all over the world. SEIU knows what it means for people fleeing distant lands to seek security and new opportunity. That’s exactly what is required right now for the vulnerable people of Afghanistan.
We join with others in the labour movement and non-governmental organizations in calling for continued aid to the families in harms way.
The Government of Canada—with support from all political parities and candidates—must expedite visa processes for Afghans fearing for their safety and wishing to leave Afghanistan. Canada must not abandon life saving efforts for those at risk.
More specifically, Canada must expediate resettlement opportunities for those who supported our missions over the years, including translators and educators. Those at greatest risk, especially journalists, humanitarian workers, and their families, must receive safe passage out of Afghanistan.
This is our collective responsibility.
A majority of SEIU members are women whose hearts weep for the mothers and daughters exposed to atrocities by the Taliban. While we urge governments and the international community to do more to offer refuge and protection, the sisters of SEIU send our prayers to all women and girls in Afghanistan.
SEIU Canada will be making a contribution to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan in solidarity with all those in harms way.