Forward Together

Canada’s Unions Celebrate Labour Day by Lifting Everyone Up

September 5, 2023

OTTAWA – Members of the labour movement gather today in communities across Canada to mark Labour Day.

Unions, labour councils, and millions of workers celebrate the hard-fought victories won by labour, rally in support of worker rights, and call for urgent action to improve the lives of working people in Canada.

“Today, we celebrate working people and the contribution they and their unions have made to life in Canada. Workers have advanced our economy, developed social programs, created the middle class, and paved a way to prosperity for millions of Canadians,” says Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Today, we celebrate the advancements that Canada’s unions have made to lift everyone up, and steel ourselves to continue the work to improve our economy and society.”

With several high-profile labour actions this year alone highlighting stagnant wages and the rising gap between workers and wealthy CEOs, everyday workers and their families are struggling to afford housing and food while continuing to see their wages fall further behind.

“Workers are paying for an inflation crisis they did not create, living the real and often devastating impacts of climate change, and witnessing the long-term consequences of a crumbling care system. With these challenges facing us, it’s so important to fight for a future that lifts everyone up,” says Bruske.

Canada’s unions will continue to push governments to do more to put working people first, including:

  • The creation and protection of good, unionized jobs in a low-carbon economy contributing to climate justice, as signalled in the Sustainable Jobs Act.
  • Forcing the super-rich to pay their fair share and implementing universal pharmacare and a national housing strategy.
  • Investments in public care services to support good jobs, decent working conditions, and high care standards.

Canada’s Unions will also work with the federal government to enact anti-scab legislation to ban the use of so-called “replacement workers” for both lockouts and strikes by the end of 2023.

“Protecting and expanding workers’ rights to organize is vital to building a strong, stable workforce,” says Bruske. “We know that when workers organize together, we lift everyone up.”

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