Labour Day 2022: Solidarity is the way forward

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September 5, 2022 – Time:  12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.




Guest Speakers Paul Caccamo vice-president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO).

Ed Arvelin – Region 7 Vice President OPSEU/SEFPO

The past two and a half years have been some of the most challenging times Canadians have faced in a generation. The pandemic exacerbated existing inequality and impacted the most vulnerable among us in more ways than we know.  

The pandemic also showed us how resilient we can be when we stand together in solidarity. Since March 2020, we’ve seen neighbours support each other and communities’ rally. Individual comfort and self-interest gave way to unity and selflessness. It’s been a tough time but as a nation we’ve proven that we’re ready to work together for the common good.

We must hold onto that solidarity and continue to stand united as we move forward with an ambitious plan for recovery.   

Here in Thunder Bay workers struggled trying to balance working form home with helping their children with on-line school. Or they struggled being an essential worker trying to keep themselves and families safe and not knowing if they could.  

And now we are in the midst of an affordability crisis. Workers are worried about the increasing cost of housing, food, medication and transportation.

Canada’s unions help provide stability for workers and their families and we’re fighting to make life more affordable for everyone. We stand alongside workers in the fight for better wages and benefits, like sick leave and dental care. We help organize workers to ensure they are united in the face of greedy employers and regressive governments.  

We also work alongside progressive governments, improving the lives of all workers through universal social programs and income supports. We fight for social justice, climate action, equality and diversity, and a better future for all.

And at the heart of it all are always workers and their families.

As we continue to recover from the pandemic and the economic turmoil it is causing, many workers are still just scraping by, struggling to find good jobs; some have left the job market entirely. This is why we continue to call for a pandemic recovery that is focused on replacing lost jobs with better ones.

Those who claim our economy has bounced back are conveniently focusing only on a small cross-section of employment data. If a recovery plan relies on leaving some workers behind, it’s not much of a plan at all. Canadians need stability, but we’ll only get there with an ambitious plan that will create good jobs, invest in taking better care of each other through a stronger social safety net, and tackle climate change.

We need significant investments in Canada’s care economy. Care workers in Canada have been sounding the alarm on the state of care in Canada for decades. Care work is vital, but it is often unstable, undervalued and underpaid. Care services were brought to a breaking point under the strain of the pandemic. Our economy relies heavily on paid and unpaid care work, with the burden of care often falling to women. In order to achieve full and equal labour-market participation for all, Canada needs a cohesive plan for providing affordable, quality, public childcare, as well as care for the elderly and people living with disabilities. We need a care strategy, backed by significant investment to ensure that Canadians have the world-class care services we deserve.

Canada’s unions help workers fight for these much-needed improvements and so much more. This Labour Day, we challenge all union members to tell at least one friend and one family member about the benefits of unions. Bring them to your local Labour Day celebration, and show them the strength and solidarity in your community. This Labour Day, let’s organize for a better Canada for all workers.

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