Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
The CUPE Cast

The CUPE Cast

By CUPE Ontario

The official podcast of CUPE Ontario.
Available on
Google Podcasts Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

No Tricks, Just Treats

The CUPE CastOct 31, 2023

No Tricks, Just Treats
Oct 31, 202337:53
Climate Justice is Union Business

Climate Justice is Union Business

This podcast episode explores the critical intersection of climate justice and labour unions. The discussion highlights how the climate emergency is not just an environmental issue but a profound health and safety concern for everyone, impacting all of us, irrespective of our backgrounds or workplaces. The episode explores the role of labor unions in advocating for climate justice, emphasizing the importance of collective action. Furthermore, the podcast offers insights into practical steps that individuals, communities, and organizations can take to combat climate change while ensuring equitable outcomes for all. We hope to inspire listeners that it’s not too late to create a more sustainable and just future for all. Content warning: there is mention of death, disaster, and sexual assault. 

Show Notes 

Climate Emergency Unit - Good Green Jobs for All campaign

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Ontario - Facebook page 

CP24 (September 22, 2023) - 'It was a mistake:' Ford reversing government's decision to open Greenbelt  

CUPE (July 2018) - Bargaining language for a greener workplace 

CUPE - Water is life campaign 

CUPE - Wildsmoke 

CUPE Ontario - Connecting air quality, health and safety at work, and the climate emergency

A joint statement from CUPE Ontario’s Climate Justice and Health and Safety committees 

CUPE Ontario Climate Justice Committee - CUPE Ontario’s Climate Justice Toolkit

CUPE Ontario - Health and Safety Forum 

David Suzuski Foundation - Top 10 things you can do about climate change 

Fridays for Future Toronto - Global March to End Fossil Fuels Toronto 

Global News (September 21, 2023) - A chronology of key events following Ontario’s decision to develop Greenbelt lands


Power Up Day of Action 

SIERRA Magazine (September 18, 2023) - Tens of Thousands of Marchers Fill New York City Streets to Demand an End to Fossil Fuel Extraction 

The Canadian Climate Institute - Centring Social Justice is Sound Climate Policy 

United Nations (June 27, 2022) - Put women’s rights ‘front and centre’ of climate policies: Bachelet 

Sep 26, 202353:34
CUPE Cast Live! Strong Women Summer

CUPE Cast Live! Strong Women Summer

Recorded live co-hosted by Niagara District CUPE Council Women's Committee

It’s another hot union summer, summer of the strike, and so many of these movements are women led! And don’t forget the Orcas too! Let’s explore what’s going down, because this Barbie is a Union Member. Recorded in front of a live audience, it’s Episode 28! Strong Women Summer!


Local 2577 – Workers at Family & Children’s Services Lanark, Leeds & Grenville 


Local 905 – Library Unit at Bradford West Gwillimbury

The Maple - GTA Metro Workers’ Strike Is A Chance To Reform Grocery Industry

Good Jobs for Grocery Workers Campaign 

Writers Guild of America

SAG - yeah Fran Drescher!! 

Is it crossing a picket line to see a movie right now?

Economic impact from Barbie, Taylor Swift, Beyonce


Olivia Chow winning mayor of Toronto 

Auditor General Greenbelt report

Sep 18, 202343:14
Jump UP! Emancipation and Carnival

Jump UP! Emancipation and Carnival

August 1 marks Emancipation Day — a day signifying the enactment of the Slave Abolition Act of 1833 and the abolishment of slavery across the British Empire. But what does it mean to observe Emancipation Day? In this episode, the CUPE Cast hosts are joined by CUPE Ontario's Racial Justice Chair, Valerie Joseph, to discuss the origins of Emancipation Day and why it matters to reflect on the enslavement of African people and its impacts on Canada's past, present and future. From carnivals to underground train rides and everything in between, it's time for us to jump up, wave and take action!

Show notes 

A Different BookList Cultural Centre (now known as Blackhurst Cultural Centre) — Emancipation Day "Underground Freedom Train Ride" 

Blackhurst Cultural Centre's Facebook page 

CBC News — Ontario church attended by abolitionist Harriet Tubman gets upgrades, to reopen for tours 

City of St. Catharines — British Methodist Episcopal Church Salem Chapel 

City of St. Catharines — The Underground Railroad

CUPE National  — Emancipation Day

CUPE National — CUPE attends the third National Black Canadian Summit 

CUPE Ontario — Prisoners' Justice Day 

CUPE Ontario — The History of Carnival Webinar

Elle Magazine — Every Body Is a Carnival Body 

Toronto Caribbean Carnival — The History of Carnival 

Jul 25, 202354:11
Drag Artists Under Attack! What Do We Do? Slay!

Drag Artists Under Attack! What Do We Do? Slay!

It’s Pride Month, and many CUPE members work in public services that host pride flag raisings, Drag Storytimes, 2SLGBTQIA+ school clubs, and more but these services are under attack. As the backlash and rhetoric against 2SLGBTQIA+ people has grown, so have the threats and bigotry around pride and drag. We will explore how we can ensure safer spaces and organize support on the ground. And you’ll hear first hand experience from a fabulous drag queen, Violet S. Parks, who has done many drag shows at libraries.


How to start your own flying squad on Instagram: 

In defense of Drag Queen Storytime: why Durham public libraries are going forward with these events, despite the pushback | Fresh Air with Ismaila Alfa | Live Radio | CBC Listen

THE BIG READ: ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ has sparked a new chapter of hate in Ontario - North Bay News

“Students walk out over York Catholic board decision not to fly Pride flag”:

Students walk out over York Catholic board decision not to fly Pride flag | CBC News

OPSEU Retiree members flying squad:

Reminder – Deadline to apply is June 25 – Retired Members Division Seeking 10 positions from each Region for “Flying Squad” Activism Leads – OPSEU SEFPO

York Catholic District School Board votes 6-4 against raising Pride flag - Toronto |

Resources | Drag Story Hour

Drag Story Time popular at Durham Libraries: 

LGBTQ Nation - What Is the Progress Pride Flag?

What Is the Progress Pride Flag? - LGBTQ Nation 

Forbes - Why Many LGBT People Have Started Using A New Pride Flag: 


LGBTQ Nation - Emblems of equality: Discovering the world of LGBTQ+ flags: 

 Emblems of equality: Discovering the world of LGBTQ+ flags - LGBTQ Nation 

Jun 27, 202343:53
Convention Baseball
May 30, 202358:49
Unions are Bringing Sexy Back

Unions are Bringing Sexy Back

Are unions bringing sexy back? What’s cooler than being cool?! Having a union card or working to organize a union in your workplace! This month we have an updated chat on all the reasons why it’s super sexy to be in a union and where to find some union love in pop culture and more.  Because when you’re in a union you can buy your own flowers! 

Show Notes:

Dripped Out Trade Unionists tweeted this: Union Membership: Very Sexy - The Atlantic 

Unions Are Sexy

Unions are Sexy Posters and Art Prints

Star Garden Dancer Action Updates

Cocktails and Capitalism :

France protest - pensions and climate justice with dancing Brianna 

Amazon and Chris Smalls

OFL Toronto event recording: 

Enough is enough campaign: 

NPR Article:

Uncanny Valley: 

Teen Vouge May Day

Apr 25, 202342:51
Enough is Enough!

Enough is Enough!

Are you fed up with the rich getting richer, while workers struggle to get by? This month the CUPE Cast is saying Enough is Enough! The rich are richer than ever. Workers are working harder than ever for low wages. The rich rule by dividing us. Together, we have power! Workers are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We will discuss just that - how to get involved in your own campaign, ongoing strikes and movements throughout the world, and sharing some real data with you about who is impacted the most while greedy corporations profit.


OFL campaign Enough is 

UK campaign Enough is Enough 

UK strike: Nurses set for 'intensive' talks with government after strike paused - BBC News 

'We Are Going to Win': UK Workers Launch Largest Coordinated Strike in More Than a Decade 

Portugal strike: Why are teachers on strike? - The Portugal News

Portuguese teachers mount nationwide strike - World Socialist Web Site 

Disney Bargaining CNN Article:

Disney Bargaining World SOcialist Website:

UNITE HERE 362 Bargaining Updates:


NBC Guild Twitter:

Support NBC Workers: 

Harper Collins Twitter:

VOX Harper Collins Strike Article:

Canadian Women's Soccer team Twitter Statement:

The Guardian Canadians Women Soccer Team Strike Article:

East Palestine rail derailment: 

Repercussions of our current climate from a Millennial and Gen Z workers:

Businesses face shortage of skilled workers and young employees: report - Toronto Star

You’re Wrong About Gen Z - MacLeans

Pull data about how much some major corporations have made in 2022 (Walmart, Loblaws, Starbucks)

Grocery workers among lowest paid while owners reap record profits - Rabble

Canada’s unions are lifting everyone up - Canadian Congress of Labour

More than 500 Calgary Loblaws workers served layoff notice amid possible lockout: Union - Global News

Loblaw earns $529M in Q4 profits as Canadians struggle with rising food prices - CBC News 

Nurses union in UK and Canada

Mar 28, 202350:13
Black Workers Matter

Black Workers Matter

This month the CUPE Cast is discussing the topic, Black Workers Matter. 

In this episode we will be covering everything from the Black Class Action Lawsuit, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Black Sleeping Car Porters, and more. This is also an extra special episode where we are welcoming our brand new CUPE Cast co-host, Brianna Plummer and saying goodbye to CUPE Cast co-host Elise. 

Links for show notes: 

Black Sleeping Car Porters 

Coalition of Black Trade Unions 

NFB collection of films on Black history in Canada 

UN International Decades 

Video about UN Decade for People of African Descent 

Moments in Canadian History of Black Labour 

Rabble Pushing Equity Foreward artcile 

CUPE Anti - Racism Strategy 

CUPE Ontario AROAP document 

CUPE Ontario AROAP Website,Indigenous%20members%20in%20our%20union

Feb 28, 202353:44
Human Rights are Union Rights
Jan 31, 202337:48
The Night Before

The Night Before

Cozy up with your favourite warm beverage, snuggle into your comfiest blanket, gather your loved ones near and enjoy this months bonus CUPE Cast episode “The Night Before”, a retelling of Clement Clarke Moore’s  “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, with a fun union and labour twist!

Dec 20, 202204:57
Bill 28: WTF Just Happened?

Bill 28: WTF Just Happened?

Everything you needed to know about Bill 28 in one spot! 

This fall has been a whirlwind with OSBCU CUPE Education Workers bargaining, the Conservative Government passing Bill 28, the possibility of a General Strike and the repeal of Bill 28 - leaving us all wondering what the heck is happening here in Ontario! 

Hopefully this month's episode will help clear things up. We will take you step by step through Bill 28 and events leading up to it as well as what is happening at the time of recording this episode in regards to OSBCU CUPE Education Workers bargaining. 

Show Notes: 

Dec 06, 202246:09
Timbits or Samosas: The Best Picket Line food and more!
Oct 25, 202234:03
Young Workers Rising!
Sep 27, 202240:47
The Gig Is Up

The Gig Is Up

Uber Eats, DoorDash, Skip the Dishes and Foodora. You probably have heard of all these online apps that can help you get food delivered straight to your door. You can shop from hundreds of restaurants and not even leave your couch. These apps are fast, easy and right at your fingertips. They were popular pre-pandemic, but then boomed even more during the pandemic. But what do we know about the workers? The people behind the apps. The people who pick up actually deliver your food to you? In this episode Elise, Tiffany and Brittany talk about who they are and what challenges they face on a day to day basis when just trying to make ends meet for their family plus have an interview with Jennifer Scott, President of Gig Workers United.  


Uber Game:

Hustled podcast:

Gig Workers United: 

Support Gig Workers: Post%20a%20message%20of%20solidarity,and%20%40GigWorkersUnite%20(Twitter). 

What it was like to be a gig worker during the pandemic:

Gig Workers Bill of Rights: 

UFCW & Uber : ; 

Twitter: @GigWorkersUnite @palimpsestJenn

Aug 31, 202242:16
Hot Labour Summer
Jul 26, 202238:49
From Reconciliation to ReconciliACTION

From Reconciliation to ReconciliACTION

In this CUPE Cast episode Elise, Tiffany and Brittany chat about June being Indigenous History month. They focus on Indigenous celebrations, events, meaningful land acknowledgments, and  they have an interview with Leila Paugh - the CUPE Ontario Indigenous Council Chair. 

Content warning: They cover the Missing and murdered indigenous women, girls ad two spirit people as well as the residential school system. 


Experiences of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women in Canada:

Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Volumes 1a and 1b:

The REDress Project by Jaime Black:

Association Proposals Would Advance Efforts to Indigenize and Decolonize Brock  Decolonizing Labour Law: A Conversation with Professor Adelle Blackett 

Walking the Talk guide: 

Video of qajaq program AIP laureate:


CUPE Ontario Indigenous Council

OFL Land Acknowledgements with Daniel Stevens

Orange Shirt Day Story and Resources:

Della’s Story, online escape room:

U of Alberta course Indigenous Canada:

Jun 28, 202250:01
CUPE Cast LIVE: Women Have Got the Power!
Jun 07, 202254:56
How Doug Ford F*d Us Over
Apr 26, 202246:48
Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: Unions are Back with a Brand New Edition!
Mar 29, 202255:23
10 Reasons to Love the Labour Movement
Feb 22, 202242:55
2022: The Dumpster is on Fire, but so is the Planet

2022: The Dumpster is on Fire, but so is the Planet

It’s 2022 and the dumpster is burning, but so is the planet. It’s a lot like the movie “Don’t Look Up!” We will be discussing all the things you may have wondered about climate justice but didn’t know where to look. We will be breaking down terms and climate justice framework: what is a just transition, who is impacted by environmental racism, how will this be a provincial election issue, and how does this tie into the movie “Don’t Look Up?” It can be so overwhelming, we will try our best to guide you through piece by piece.

View transcription here:

Show notes:

Critical review of Don't Look Up by Zeeshan Aleem, MSNBC Opinion Columnist:

2018 Working Paper “Trade Unions and Just Transition: The Search for a Transformative Politics - Link recently removed

CUPE National Environment Policy:

Green Economy Network, One Million Jobs campaign:

CUPE Climate Change Emergency Declaration:

Ontario NDP Green New Democratic Deal:

Government of Canada Long-term Drinking Water Advisories:

Sudbury Star article featuring Autumn Peltier:

Sign up to volunteer or support here:

Sign up to volunteer or support Fridays for Future here:

Jan 25, 202245:04
Getting to Know the CUPE Cast Hosts
Dec 28, 202137:17
Canadian Labour Movement Wins

Canadian Labour Movement Wins

Blurb: In this month’s CUPE Cast episode, Brittany, Tiffany and Elise talk about victories of the Canadian Labour Movement! They discuss wins ranging from Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project unionizing with CUPE to General Motors producing PPE and the minimum wage.

Show Notes:

Check out Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project for more details on their organizing work and resources:

Sign onto the Gig Workers Bill of Rights here:

Read Spring Magazine’s article, Ford forced to $15 three years after cuts here:

Check out the Justice for Workers campaign, meeting and events here:

Donate to the Ontario Employment Education & Research Centre’s Workers Bowl here:

Check out grassroots organizing group Green Jobs Oshawa here:

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) article, The right to strike, or not, in Alberta by Wayne Arthurson here:

Nov 30, 202141:60
Life After the Rally

Life After the Rally

In this month's CUPE Cast Tiffany, Brittany, and Elise talk about what really happens after the rally, addressing issues such as activist burnout, wellness, depression, self care, community care, how to take care of yourself, and how to say no! 

Nov 01, 202139:52
A Woman's Place Is in Her Union?

A Woman's Place Is in Her Union?

Tiffany, Brittany, and Elise explore the importance of women in the labour movement and how to combat sexism. They discuss the We Believe You initiative of the CUPE Ontario Women's Committee, microaggressions, news coming out of Activision Blizzard and the 2020 Olympics, and more. With special guest Candace Rennick—CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer and candidate for CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer.  

Show links:

Sexism in Winnipeg’s Labour Movement.

Cole Rockarts, RankandFile Ontario Women’s Committee We Believe You Toolkit

Canadian Women’s foundation:

15 Micro-aggressions Women Face On A Daily Basis,

Bustle article

“Gaming Culture is Toxic. A major lawsuit might finally change it.”

Written by Aja Ramano ,

Link to the CUPE National Safe Spaces focus group:
Link to survey (closes today, but just incase they keep it open longer) : Candace Rennick campaign website;www.candacerennick.comPlus link to the Facebook page :
CUPE Ontario Young Workers Conference: CUPE Ontario HS IWAC Conference:
Sep 29, 202148:25
Simpsons Did It! How Unions are Portrayed in Pop Culture

Simpsons Did It! How Unions are Portrayed in Pop Culture

In this month’s podcast, Elise, Brittany, and Tiffany explore how unions are portrayed in pop culture and the media. Listen in on how the media influences perceptions, including all aspects: from movies, to television, to video games, and even a curated labour themed book list for all ages! Spoiler Alerts galore but mostly for movies/series that have been out for quite some time. And before our listeners catch it, we will be the first to point out that we neglected to mention The Wire Season Two. Next time on this subject, we promise!

Aug 31, 202145:35
Spillin’ the Solidari-Tea

Spillin’ the Solidari-Tea

In CUPE Cast's third episode, Brittany, Elise, and Tiffany spill the tea on the 2021 Canadian Labour Congress Convention, the history of the CLC, and how the heck conventions even work - especially when they are virtual! Whether you missed out on the CLC 2021 Convention or want to relive your favourite moments, the CUPE Cast recap is for you! We are also joined by a very special guest interview, Lily Chang, newly elected CLC Secretary Treasurer. #CLC2021 #DefiningTheFuture

Jul 27, 202147:36
Queer Liberation, Not Rainbow Capitalism

Queer Liberation, Not Rainbow Capitalism

In this episode of CUPE Cast, Tiffany, Brittany and Elise discuss what Rainbow Capitalism and Pinkwashing are and how they are used to distract and prevent Queer Liberation. The CUPE Cast also hears about Tiffany’s personal experience as a Bi woman in union spaces and reviews the meaning of 2SLGBTQIA+. The CUPE Cast is also joined by special guest, CUPE Ontario Pink Triangle Chair, Susan Gapka.

Jun 28, 202157:53
The CUPE Cast Episode 1 — Cooler than Side Parts and Skinny Jeans: Unions are “in” now!

The CUPE Cast Episode 1 — Cooler than Side Parts and Skinny Jeans: Unions are “in” now!

The CUPE Cast Episode 1 — Cooler than Side Parts and Skinny Jeans: Unions are “in” now! 

May 26, 202120:44