We will be celebrating Labour Day on Monday September 5, 2022. This holiday is an integral part of our society and is the last holiday weekend of the summer to spend time with family and friends before the dark days of fall and winter are upon us.
We would like to take some time to consider the real purpose of Labour Day and how it came to be. Over the years, its intent and meaning have evolved. This is largely since the Labour movement has made such great gains and improved the lives of Canadians at work and home.
Many Canadians enjoy paid holidays, safe workplaces, medical benefits, employment insurance, reasonable work schedules and hard-won Union wages.
Labour Day began in Canada on April 15, 1872. On that historic day the Toronto Trades Assembly, the original central labour body in Canada, organized the country’s first significant ‘workers demonstration.’ At the time trade unions were still illegal, and authorities still tried to repress them, even though laws against “criminal conspiracy” to disrupt trade unions had already been abolished in Britain.
The Toronto Trades Assembly emerged as a force to be reckoned with. It spoke out on behalf of working people, encouraged union organization, and acted as a strong advocate when workers were exploited. The event took on a life of its own due to the power it amassed and was one that authorities could not ignore.
Wherever and however, it is celebrated, its purpose remains the same. In the same spirit it began so many years ago, it remains a day that affirms the dignity and honour of working people everywhere. We ask that this Labour Day that we all pause to remember how far we have come and where we are going. There is still much work to be done and we will continue to remember the sacrifices that our brothers and sister of the labour movement made to get us to where we are today.
Your Union believes in the true spirit of solidarity and that great strength lies in our ability to communicate and understand the struggles that our members experience each time they don their uniform and go to work. Armed with this knowledge and knowing that the membership is behind us, we go forward to negotiate and bargain hard for what is right and for what matters.
Whether you find yourself at home or at work on September 5th, we encourage you to remember this day and to commit to an ongoing goal of gathering and fostering solidarity for our great challenge that will come in 2025. Together we can negotiate an unprecedented Collective Agreement. If we plant these seeds now and are all mindful of the work ahead, there is much that can be accomplished.