September 2nd, 2011 - 3:59pm
Hard work has always been a part of our lives as Canadians. On Labour Day, we celebrate our dedication and diligence in the workplace. Our society relies on hardworking citizens to keep our country thriving, therefore it is important to use this holiday as a time to give thanks to all of our workers.
In addition to showing appreciation to our workers, Labour Day is a holiday to commemorate the achievements of the labour movement. In some places, including the United States, collective bargaining rights have come under attack. The ability for workers to organize and advocate for their interests and wellbeing is a critical part of living in a healthy democracy.
Many aspects of the workplace that we enjoy today are victories of the labour movement, such as reasonable work hours, better working conditions, statutory holidays, maternity leave, paid overtime and the establishment of benefits and pensions only to name a few. These successes are major benchmarks in the history of workers’ rights. However, though we have come a long way, there are still many improvements that need to be made. Some workers still face unsafe working conditions, resulting in illness, injury and death. Women are still not equally paid for equal amounts of work. We still have too many unemployed workers and too many impoverished senior citizens. It is for this reason we must continue to advocate for the rights of all working Canadians.
Working hard is definitely a way of life in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing. As residents of small cities and towns, we have to work even more diligently to support our families and communities. We have to be frugal and use the resources available to us. One of the greatest resources we have at our disposal is each other.
Let’s keep in mind that the achievements of yesterday have been key to ensuring safer workplaces, better working conditions and improved quality of life not only for workers of today but for our future generations. I trust everyone had an enjoyable and safe long weekend!