Labour Day is a very significant day on the calendar; it is our day, the day of rest that our work and our contribution to society have earned. Labour Day is not a sectarian holiday, celebrates no individual or group, it is the day that allows us to think about the dignity of labour and the nobility that comes from what we add to the common good and to the betterment of our fellow citizens. For the Building Trades it celebrates the fact that we build, maintain and ultimately rebuild the infrastructure on which civilization depends. Society depends on us to do it right so that others are safe, secure and can grow in order to add their value to that society.
Some people think of Labour Day in terms of fair trade, support to others less fortunate or identifying a goal that is worthy of achievement by way of collective action. The Labour Movement has been in the forefront of social change since Trade Unions became lawful in 1872. This Labour Day, maybe, it is time that we think about what we desire for ourselves and what we desire for others.
Labour Day reflects new beginnings – school is back and the world starts another cycle. This Labour Day represents the final year of the federal government mandate. There will be an election in October 2019. The tide of progressive governments, on the provincial level, seems to be ebbing and ebbing at a very fast rate. This Labour Day perhaps is a day to take stock of what we achieved during the current federal mandate and what might be achieved in the next.
Here is what we, the collective leadership of the Building Trades in Canada, want you to think about in the run-up to the next election.
First, we want you to make sure that you vote! We know there are jobs, work out of town, long shifts and a host of other things that get in the way but there are more ways to vote now than existed in the past.
Second, we want you to think about the gains that the Labour Movement has made over the current mandate and those gains have been very significant.
Third, think about what you believe in and what kind of society do you want to see here in Canada. Governments set the rules, the tone and the shape of society.
Fourth, your hope for your children and grandchildren, everything we do builds a set of steps for them.
The union represents “Labour” and if the Labour is able to deal with government it is in a position to ensure a better, fairer and more prosperous shake in exchange for your skills. Your vote matters and your vote ought to be cast thoughtfully and in the interest of you and your family!
Happy Labour Day!
Robert R. Blakely
Canadian Operating Officer