Monday, 4 September 2017

Labour Day

In Canada, Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September, and is the unofficial end of summer, with students returning to school.

Labour Day has been marked in Canada since the 1880s.  Some origins can be traced 1872 when a parade was staged by the Toronto Typographical Union's strike for a 58-hour work-week.   Although the laws criminalising union activity had already been abolished elsewhere, in Canada the police arrested 24 leaders of the Union.   Labour leaders decided to call another demonstration in September to protest.   Seven unions marched in Ottawa, yielding a promise from the Prime Minister to repeal anti-union laws.  On 23 July 1894, Canadian Prime Minister John Thompson’s government made Labour Day in September an official holiday.  While Labour Day parades and picnics are often organised by unions, most Canadians regard Labour Day as the Monday of the last long weekend of summer.

As we move toward the third decade of the 21st century – and another Labour Day – Canadian workers confront daunting challenges.  Technological change threatens traditional jobs, and an aging population is increasingly dependent on social programs, which must be paid for by those in the present workforce.   The workplace has always been changing, and the current stress is from technological change, demographic change, and international competition.   So, what are 21st-century options that can help employers, employees and governments adapt?

The British Columbia Premier said it this way:

As we enjoy the Labour Day long weekend, we should must turn our political thinking, to how best to ensure that our legal labour policies, serve and advance the interests of both workers and employers, before other jurisdictions leave us in the dust or rust belt.

On Labour Day, we recognize the hard-working people of British Columbia, who built this province from the ground up.

Labour Day is a day of rest, and an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by working people. The hard-fought victories of the labour movement over generations made life better for everyone.

People who work hard deserve a government that works hard for them. Our government will increase the minimum wage, open the doors to apprenticeships and skills training, strengthen employment standards and create safer workplaces for all.

Building up our province starts with building up our people.  Thank you for celebrating this special day.  John, Premier John Horgan, Leader, BC's New Democrats

It is a nice sentiment from him as far as it goes.   But as a typical socialist, he purposely on this special day, fails to also honour business people, investors, visionaries, and entrepreneurs, who created jobs in first place.   They invested and risked a lot (sometimes everything) to build British Columbia.  Organized Labour has its proper role, and their success must be recognized on this day.  However, we must honour all, and not just the special few in a discriminatory way.   We honour workers, regardless of position or role.  Political Leadership must not divide our community, but bring everyone together, as we pay respect to the people in the workplace.  We must cooperate, before we just dissipate what our economy has achieved.

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