LABOUR DAY September 7
Participants should gather at 9 AM at the Pen Centre parking lot. Look for the Niagara Regional Labour Council's trailer, this time carrying House of Labour.
It will look like this, only much better!
Here is reposted OFL Labour Day 2015 statement:
Every generation of parents, from Canada’s First Peoples through each wave of immigration since, have trusted that hard work would deliver a brighter future and improved fortunes for their children and their grandchildren. However, despite record levels of education, today’s youth will become first generation in history to expect a lower standard of living than their parents.
For most of the last century, high school students could expect to graduate into well-paid jobs in manufacturing or other sectors that allowed them to buy a home, support a family and join the middle class. Their counterparts today are graduating from college or university with unprecedented levels of student debt only to wind up wallowing in low-paying service jobs that offer no security, limited benefits and little room for advancement.
Over nearly a decade in office, the Harper Conservatives have engineered a dramatic reversal of fortune across Canada that is driving down wages and threatening to leave future generations behind. For the first time since the 1950s, employment rates have dropped and new job creation has hit the skids. Even in Canada’s economic epicenter, barely 50 percent of workers can take comfort in full-time, permanent jobs.
For the country’s labour unions, this alarming workforce transformation is triggering a profound re-imagining of the labour movement. We are confronting the harsh reality that declining union density and an increasingly precarious workforce are dragging down wages and benefits faster than union standards can pull them up. Unions can no longer respond through self-preservation at the expense of other workers. A truly universal labour movement requires a bottom-up approach to worker action that is driven by a movement of all working people, the unemployed, the precariously employed, the retired and the many diverse communities who are being marginalized within today’s economy. The Ontario Federation of Labour, which has historically only given voice to unionized workers, is now partnering with diverse and vulnerable communities to mount a vigorous defence for the rights and interests of every worker.
For Canada’s voters, the façade of the Conservative economic restructuring has crumbled away. A falling Canadian dollar, plummeting oil prices and the recent backslide into a second recession give the lie to the Conservative claim to be sound fiscal managers. However, for many Canadians, it is the deepening income inequality, wage stagnation and cuts to social programs that are causing voters to look for a more balanced road to shared prosperity.
When Albertans went to the polls last spring in Canada’s Conservative heartland, the result was the punishing defeat of a 40-year-old Conservative Dynasty and an unprecedented mandate for the Alberta New Democratic Party. Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley campaigned on a bold commitment to corporate tax fairness, the environment and a $15 minimum wage – the same hallmarks of Thomas Mulcair’s platform for Canada’s NDP.
What was mistaken at first as simply an Alberta election upset, is looking more and more like a federal forecast. Those who are fed up with corruption in Ottawa, blanket support for corporate Canada and an inexcusable indifference to inequality are seeing the NDP as the better choice.
Around barbecues and campfires across the country, Canadians may be inclined to spend this Labour Day weekend lamenting the end of summer but there is also cause to look optimistically towards the future. The federal election on October 19 will provide and opportunity for voters to chart a new course for Canada. In the weeks and months that follow, we must work together to make the Canadian economy work for everyone.