Labour Day Message from President David Black

August 27, 2013

Labour Day is a time to reflect on the many contributions working people, through their unions, make to building communities and a better country. 

It can be all too easy to take for granted the role of unions in improving our working conditions and our ability to support our families. After all, significant labour achievements like the 40-hour work week, the establishment of Employment Insurance, pensions, basic workplace safety requirements and the weekend have been around for a long time.

But the work unions do today is no less important and it requires the same type of commitment to standing together.

That’s why, this Labour Day, our union is pleased to join with unions across Canada as part of a new “together FAIRNESS WORKS” campaign.

At Labour Day events in communities and at your workplaces throughout the fall we’ll be having many one-on-one conversations about the union advantage and why it not only helps MoveUP members, but makes Canada better for all. For example, did you know the average union worker earns $4.97 per hour more than the average non-union worker in Canada? In B.C. that works out to an extra $48 million every week paid into local economies, supporting local businesses and community services.

And unions are continually fighting on specific initiatives to make our country and communities better. MoveUP is working hard as part of the Canadian Labour Congress to win significant improvements to the Canada Pension Plan – which will help every Canadian when they retire – regardless of whether or not they are a union member.

Closer to home, our union also contributes to a better world through our work campaigning for safer working conditions – whether that’s through members volunteering on their workplace health and safety committees or through broader union committees getting active on issues like defending Grant’s Law in solidarity with late-night retail workers.

But it doesn’t end there. Each year so many of you participate in workplace United Way campaigns to make sure those less fortunate and those who need help in our community are supported. MoveUP partners with employers for these drives and time and again, members have been recognized for the money and time they donate to the United Way each year. Our efforts in these campaigns make it possible for the United Way to deliver key services to fight child poverty, bullying and seniors’ isolation.

As our workplaces are affected by globalization, Canada’s unions are more relevant than ever. Working people through unions are the one group standing up for good jobs and protecting the middle class. Our governments certainly aren’t.

That’s why the “together FAIRNESS WORKS” campaign is so essential. MoveUP looks forward to having conversations with as many members as possible about what your union membership means for you, and how it contributes to your health, income, safety and security.

Please have a happy and safe Labour Day and tell everyone that “together FAIRNESS WORKS”, because your union helps make things better in your life, your community, and Canada.