Happy Labour Day from the Building Trades of Alberta. As we celebrate this long weekend, it’s important to remember why we honour this occasion.
Since the advent of labour unions, the quality of workers’ lives has vastly improved. From having scheduled work week, to establishing holidays, overtime pay, benefits and pensions, we have come so far as a society in treating workers with dignity. It is for these reasons that we use Labour Day to honour the work of those in the labour movement who came before us.
Yet, to us in the BTA, Labour Day isn’t just about the achievements of the past. It’s also about the strides we will continue to make. We in labour face many challenges today. Many workers struggle with lingering mental health challenges that arose during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under-represented groups still face barriers to entering our industry and creating a fulfilling career in unionized skilled labour. Many remain uncertain about the future of their employment in Alberta amid a shifting economic landscape.
We in the BTA are taking strides to overcome each of these challenges. For instance, BTA is launching the Building Resiliency program to help our members combat addiction and other mental health difficulties. BTA has taken on numerous initiatives to help marginalized groups such as the Indigenous peoples of these lands get into the trades, such as Path Forward. Additionally, Build Together: Women of the Alberta Building Trades is doing great work to attract more women, youth, new Canadians and other under represented groups to Alberta’s skilled trades. To address the economic uncertainties of our times, the BTA is engaging in partnerships with contractors and owners to create the best opportunities for our members. Finally, BTA is committed to working with all levels of government to ensure policies that support our industry are enacted.
History has shown time and time again that when we as working people stand together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve. Creating better working conditions isn’t always easy. But if union and non-union workers across all sectors unite to demand better, then we will win. It’s never too late to build a better tomorrow for workers. This is why we celebrate Labour Day.
Happy Labour Day!