May 1, also known as May Day and International Workers’ Day, has long been a day recognized when workers gather to remember the victories of the labour movement. Furthermore, it serves as a day to take a stand for democracy, workers’ rights and equality.
Although celebrated around the globe, May Day had its roots in the historical struggles of workers based in North America. It is seen today as an opportunity to further workers rights and activism.
May Day was born of the struggles of the working class in the late 19th century. In this time, it was illegal to participate in union activity. Nonetheless, workers did join unions to fight for better working conditions, shorter work weeks, safety, and legitimacy. The things we take for granted today cost many dearly in those days.
The Public and Private Workers of Canada would like to thank all those who stood up for their beliefs over the last 150 years and encourages all workers on May 1 to remember the sacrifices made to give us what we enjoy today.