Today Unifor members took to the streets across the country to join workers, unions and the labour movement to celebrate Labour Day.
“This is a day to come together to acknowledge and appreciate the gains that Unifor and the labour movement have made in the past year,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “It is also a day to recommit to the fight for the betterment of all working people to demand fairness and justice.”
Across the country Unifor was out in force on Labour Day. Members participated in marches, picnics and community events from coast to coast to coast. In keeping with the 2016 Labour Day theme “We Stand For Fairness” marchers at the Toronto parade demanded good jobs and a living wage for all workers.
“We continue to see an increase in precarious work that is trapping workers permanently in to low paying part-time or contract positions,” said Unifor Toronto Area Director Josephine Petcher. “It’s time to change the laws in Ontario to lift all workers out of poverty, offer benefits and job security.”
“The landscape of the employment world has changed dramatically in recent years,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley who attended the Toronto event. “It’s harder than ever for Ontarians to make a living, get job security, and to have fair treatment at work.”
Speaking at the Toronto pre-parade rally was Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Kevin Flynn who spoke about the need to update outdated provincial labour laws. “The work has changed and so will the rules,” pledged Flynn.
Unifor members were also joined at the rally by Toronto Mayor John Tory and Federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair.
This Labour Day marks the third anniversary of the formation of Unifor. Labour Day events fall on the eve of Unifor announcing which of the Detroit Three automakers the union will select as the target company to set a pattern in negotiations.
“As you go into these negotiations with the Detroit 3 you have the full support of the CLC,” Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff told members.
Leading marchers in the Toronto parade, Dias stressed the need for employers to make a commitment to build a strong economic future with secure jobs and an investment in Canadian products.