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The following message is playing on CISL 650 AM from August 29 to September 4. Created by the PPWC, it demonstrates that labour produces all wealth, and our rights as workers should be protected and celebrated.

“For some, Labour Day means just another long weekend. But the Public and Private Workers of Canada reminds everyone that it’s much more than that. Labour Day is a celebration of the hard work of Canadian workers – who serve, care for, educate, manufacture and deliver the goods and services that enhance economic growth and raise living standards. The Canadian worker plays the chief role in making our country a better place to live. A message from Public and Private Workers of Canada – an independent, democratic, Canadian union for workers, by workers.”

The History of Labour Day

ppwc-labour-day-public-and-private-workers-of-canadaOn March 25, 1872, the Toronto Typographical Union takes up the cause of the “Nine-Hour Movement” and goes out on strike when its demands for a shorter workweek are ignored. A few weeks later, ten thousand people participate in a parade to show support for the striking workers.

George Brown, then politician and editor of the Toronto Globe, hits back by launching legal action against the striking workers. At the time, union activity is still considered a criminal act under Canadian law. Brown has police arrest and jail 24 members of the strike committee for conspiracy. The arrests are protested, and the Prime Minister at the time, Sir John A. Macdonald, promises to repeal the “barbarous” anti-union laws.

The Trade Unions Act is passed by Parliament on June 14, 1872, legalizing unions. In the years following, parades were organized in honour of the Toronto demonstration. The celebration was officially recognized on July 23, 1894, when the federal government made Labour Day a national holiday.

The Confederation of Canadian Unions produced these beautiful postcards to celebrate Labour Day in 2022.

Click on the photos below to download the PDF

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