About 100 people joined the downtown Toronto rally and march on Mother’s Day, May 8, to support Gilary Massa. The Ryerson Student Union (RSU) fired the Black Muslim woman while she was on maternity leave. To make matters worse, the RSU new executive placed many of Massa’s job duties into a new management position, then filled the position with one of their white buddies.
The noisy crowd included unions—including her own CUPE local—students, the Ryerson Faculty Association, the university’s anti-racism coalition, and community members.
Massa has been an active member of her bargaining unit since she was 19, and is not about to back down now. Speakers denounced RSU not only for the firing, but for not recognizing the Supreme Court of Canada decision many years ago that declared that disciplinary action during maternity leave was illegal. It is particularly galling to see this behaviour from a once progressive student union. While the university itself has a campaign celebrating Equity, diversity and inclusion, the RSU is clearing its own right-wing path.
Follow the campaign on Facebook at istandwithgilary