Building an Economy that Works Better for More People

Labour Day honours the achievements of the Labour Movement and working people. It has been a statutory holiday in Canada, the first Monday in September, since 1894.

The worker parades and solidarity picnics that once celebrated Labour Day have evolved into family gatherings and ‘last hurrah’ parties marking the end of school holidays, the beginning of a new school year, and the beginning of the end of summer.

The courageous job actions taken by our parents and grandparents to improve their working conditions began a collective-bargaining process that has continued to open up and humanize our understanding of what work means, and what time off and job security, benefits, and protections mean.

Thanks to the efforts of the early Labour Movement we have:

  • a minimum wage

  • an eight-hour workday

  • weekends

  • vacation time

  • holiday pay

  • improvements in sick leave

  • workplace safety

  • worker compensation programs

  • maternity leave

  • pension plans

  • and more.

But we still have a ways to go to achieve the equitable world working people deserve.

“Unions have long called for strong workplace safety standards, leave provisions for work-related injuries and illnesses, and fair compensation programs to ensure that workers have income, medical treatment, and time to heal.
The NDP stands with workers in calling for improvements in all these areas."
- Wayne Stetski

Image: Wayne Stetski speaking with Louisiana Pacific Mill Workers, wearing safety gear


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