CBTU Statement on the Federal Public Service Workers’ Class Action Lawsuit against the Federal Government


The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in Canada stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Black Class Action Secretariat and the more than 1,500 Black Federal public service employees who have joined the proposed class action lawsuit against the Federal government of Canada. The lawsuit spotlights the Canadian government's failure to hire and promote Black workers in the Federal public service and speaks to the discrimination and harassment of tens of thousands of Black workers over decades. 

“Part of our mission statement is to improve economic development and employment opportunities for workers of African-Descent,” said Yolanda McClean, President of The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in Canada. McClean further stated that “many of the Black workers are experienced and highly qualified. They report being expected to train newly hired workers and that they also occupy leadership roles on a temporary basis. If these Black qualified workers are experienced enough to train and lead other workers temporarily, why are they not good enough to be consistently promoted?”  

The data on promotion rates reveal that Black workers make up the largest racialized group with 3.8% of the approximately 300,000 Federal public service workers. The executive ranks of the Federal public service has approximately 8,000 employees. Black workers consist of approximately 1.9% of the 8000 employees at that level. 

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in Canada is adding its voice to the voices of those seeking legislative changes in Canada that ensure Black workers can participate to their full potential within the Federal public service. Changes that include but are not limited to a separate and distinct category for Black workers under the Employment Equity Act which would ensure that Black workers are not left behind in the hiring and promotion processes of the Federal public service.

CBTU further calls on Canada’s Federal government to sit down with public service workers and their representatives to end the ongoing discrimination of Black workers within the Federal public service.

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-Canada (CBTU) Executive Board