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CKMS News – 2021-01-28 – On the road to unionization for academic workers at the University of Waterloo

Host: Shalaka Jadhav

One of many ongoing and underlying issues that the pandemic has brought attention to includes workers rights, safety, and wages. Across various workplaces, the importance of unions in giving workers a collective voice in the workplace has amplified, and this extends to the students at an institution we may not often think of: the University of Waterloo, and its student workers.

In this segment, I’ll be in conversation with Lynne Sargent and Nicolay Videnov, students who are part of the Committee to Organize uWaterloo, a grassroots campaign to unionize the academic workers at the University of Waterloo.  Their interviews are complimented by Graham Cox, a researcher and organizer at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, referred to as CUPE during this show.  With over 700,000 members, CUPE is Canada’s largest union. CUPE represents 70,400 workers spanning 233 collective agreements in the post-secondary education sector.

To learn more about Organize uWaterloo, check out

This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom.

Check out the archived versions of  this program and other episodes on, and other stories commissioned under the Local Journalism Initiative at

You can  follow us on twitter @RadioWaterloo. If you want to get in touch with comments, or ideas about stories to cover, email us at

Music for this episode was courtesy of Dylan Prowse.

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