August 28, 2014

Happy Labour Day

A Happy 120th Labour Day to All
As President of the North Okanagan Labour Council and Southern Interior Representative for Local 40 UNITE HERE I would like to extend my best wishes to all on this holiday weekend.
This day off with pay was the first non-religious, non-military, non-royal, non-government holiday. It is an acknowledgement of the common working class to have a right for a day off with pay. It is to celebrate their contribution to the nation and to the society as a whole.
Public pressure was put on the Government of Canada to declare a national holiday and on the 23rd of July, 1894 the Government declared the first Monday in September to be known as Labour Day.
Labour Day originated in Canada. The first Labour Day event was a parade held in Toronto in 1872 in support of cutting the work week down to 58 hours. It is now celebrated in many countries around the world. The United States celebrates it on the same day as us, but many others celebrate it on May 1st
Labour Day has strayed from its original celebration of workers rights and freedoms. It has become the last celebration of summer, filled with BBQs, picnics and a last shot at going to the beach.
In view of this we, the North Okanagan Labour Council, the Canadian Labour Congress and the B.C. Federation of Labour, along with many local and provincial unions have brought back an event long been missing from this area. We are sponsoring our First Annual Labour Day Picnic on Monday, September 1st, 2014. This event will be held at Bertram Creek Park from 2:00 to 6:00pm.
Labour Day also marks the beginning of the school year for many, this year that may not hold true unless a settlement can be reached between the B.C. Teachers Federation and the B.C. Government. This is a reminder that unions are still actively engaged in maintaining and improving our standard of living. This benefits our society as a whole.
So while eating your hotdogs and enjoying a swim, take a moment to remember all of the union workers whom have paid dearly for this wonderful day. Please stay on guard for them, to keep the laws and rights they fought for, strong and current.
Andrew Pritchard
President, North Okanagan Labour Council


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