Brothers & Sisters:
Labour Day marks one of the most important dates on the Canadian calendar.
While it is, of course, a celebration by Canada’s labour movement of the contribution of workers to every aspect of society, it is also a joyful occasion for every citizen and resident. Everyone is a worker at some time in their life and everyone has derived huge benefits from the trade unionists who came before us.
The current crop of bumper stickers that proudly proclaim “The Labour Movement - The Folks Who Brought You The Weekend”, remind us of the sacrifices of those who came before us.
Legalizing unions changed Canada – profoundly – and for the better. Laws regulating workplace Health and Safety, Medicare, Workers’ Compensation, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Human Rights protections, Employment Insurance, public education, vacation time, overtime pay and on and on.
As Ironworkers and trade unionists we have never sought to achieve gains just for ourselves. That’s because we are also mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, community members, neighbors and friends. When we throw our collective power behind an idea, we are intent on making progress for everyone, in and out of the workplace.
Let us not forget our history and the accomplishments we have achieved.
Happy Labour Day!
Executive Director of Canadian Affairs