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London & Kelowna chapters celebrate Labour Day

London chapter.

Kelowna chapter.

The Council of Canadians London and Kelowna chapters participated in Labour Day activities this past Monday.

The London chapter’s Facebook page notes, “The London Chapter of the Council of Canadians had an information table next to the Hydro One Not for Sale table at the Labour Day Picnic, Monday September 5, 2016!” And Kelowna chapter activist Wes Kmet tells us that his chapter was at the North Okanagan Labour Day picnic that saw about 600 people in attendance.

CBC reports, “Canadian Labour Congress president Hassan Yussuff [says] that Labour Day is a day to celebrate gains made by Canadian unions, to march in the streets to show support for unions, and to renew focus on the work ahead for the labour movement. He said it’s a day to remember that unions fought for such things as health and safety at work, decent pensions, fair wages, parental leave and paid vacations. Yussuff said the work ahead for unions includes pushing for safer workplaces, free of asbestos, and for permanent, full-time jobs, especially for young people.”

The CLC website notes, “This Labour Day, Canada’s unions are launching a new site, fairnessworks.ca, and three compelling online videos to showcase the ways unions are improving the day-to-day lives of all Canadians. The videos focus on how Canada’s unions are campaigning for a ban on asbestos, winning stronger public pensions, making working life better for everyone. Yussuff says that as a former mechanic who was exposed to asbestos, he is especially proud of the work Canada’s unions are doing to win a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada.”

Labour Day has been celebrated in Canada on the first Monday in September since the 1880s. The first Labour Day parade in Canada was in 1872 to support the Toronto Typographical Union’s strike for a 58-hour work-week. In July 1894, Prime Minister John Thompson made Labour Day an official holiday.

The Council of Canadians is proud to have a strong relationship with the labour movement. We work together on numerous issues including the call to defend and expand public health care, defending public services (like public water and wastewater facilities, Ontario Hydro), opposition to ‘free trade’ agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and for good jobs (we support the Canadian Labour Congress’ plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by one third by creating over one million sustainable climate jobs, allowing workers to transition away from fossil fuels).

Our Board of Directors includes representatives from Unifor, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the Toronto & York Region Labour Council.

Our staff are members of Unifor Local 567.