Profile: Philippine-born Mike Cartasano completed his post-secondary education and held different industrial jobs in the Philippines before migrating to Canada with his family. He was determined to raise his children in a country that promoted higher educational goals, and nationwide healthcare programmes. Cartasano was a union official in the refining sector in his home country.
Cartasano was disappointed that his credentials were not recognized on his arrival in Canada. He was forced to work at many janitorial and other low-paying jobs to put food on his family’s table. His janitor/building service training programmes opened the door for his hire by the school board in 1990.
Mike Cartasano’s membership in CUPE Local 474 opened the floodgates of his passion to serve his coworkers and his union. He became the Chief Shop Steward and served on the Grievance Committee. In his Chief Shop Steward role Cartasano loved to fight grievances and consistently defended the members of his Local. He was an advocate for public healthcare and member education, who opposed the privatization of healthcare that benefits working people.
Keywords: CUPE Local 474; Philippines; Privatization; Public Healthcare
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