|List of Labour Day celebrations – September 4, 2017|
Toronto – August 25, 2017 – Labour Day is an annual celebration of the hard-won gains of working people and the labour movement. For well over a century, workers have united on this day to celebrate the achievements of workers and their unions, and demonstrate solidarity by participating Labour Day parades and community events across Canada.
For many families across the country, Labour Day is a chance to enjoy some quality time together before welcoming the fall season and a new school year. The day also provides an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of workers and their unions, while renewing our longstanding commitment to fight for good jobs, strong employment standards, and fair labour laws.
Unions have played a leading role in battling income inequality and have helped in the fight to close the income gap between society's richest and poorest citizens. Together, we have also been successful in countering workplace discrimination and pay equity. Good union jobs continue to be the backbone of our middle class, and the stable incomes they provide support strong families and vibrant communities.
However, today, the good standard of living that many Canadian families enjoy is being threatened by the rise of precarious work. Too many workers are stuck in precarious jobs that offer low wages, unpredictable hours, no pension, no benefits and no union. This trend is creates economic insecurity and strains our public resources.
The precarious job trend has to be challenged and turned around by updating legislation to reflect the changing workplace and to bring back fairness to labour laws. As a progressive force, we must continue to use our voice to address social injustices, inequity, and job discrimination faced by marginalized communities. We must also remain vigilant and protect Canadian industries during a time of international uncertainty.
So this Labour Day, let us commit to building a better, fairer Canada by calling on our political leaders to enact socially just laws, policies, and programs that promote good, full-time jobs. Let us resolve to fight the troubling rise of precarious work by raising awareness among our friends and family of the benefits that unionization provides. And let us celebrate the extraordinary things that everyday people can accomplish when we combine our efforts and work together toward common goals.
I wish you and your family a safe and happy Labour Day.
Paul R. Meinema