Labour Day is one of our proudest and longest-running traditions. For over 120 years, workers have come together during the final days of summer to celebrate our monumental achievements and to demonstrate our solidarity by gathering at parades, picnics and other fun-filled activities.
For many of us, Labour Day is one of our favourite holidays. It’s a community day that offers us a chance to enjoy some time with family and friends before welcoming the fall season and a new school year.
Canadians are some of the hardest working people in the world. Labour Day is a holiday that working families have earned, and on behalf of UFCW Canada – Canada’s largest private-sector union – I wish you and yours a very happy and well deserved Labour Day.
We are the 250,000 food, retail and commercial workers in every community across the country who bag our country’s groceries, cut our steaks, bake our bread and fill our grocery shelves. We also create the domestic food products that make our meals and favourite recipes possible.
Reflecting on the past achievements of workers is especially important this Labour Day because Canadians will be going to the polls in five different provincial elections before the end of the year. Working families must be vigilant to protect the things that took generations of political action to achieve. Good employment standards, labour legislation and national pension plans are things that come when we elect governments that put working families first.
Let us also be inspired by the optimism of recently passed federal leader Jack Layton and commit to building a better, fairer Canada that leads the world with laws, policies and programs that work for workers and their communities.
Labour Day celebrates the extraordinary things ordinary people can accomplish when they combine their efforts and work together toward something good. It is a day for hope and optimism. In the words of Jack Layton, this Labour Day “let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
National President, UFCW Canada