Article by Kim King Local 302 Photos by Cindy Wright , Doris Middleton & Kim King
The first Labour Day dates back to the late 1880s over concerns about working hours. A parade was held on April 14, 1872 in support of the Toronto Typographical Union’s strike for a 58-hour workweek. The “nine-hour (day) movement” started in Hamilton and then spread to Toronto. Labour Day became a national holiday in 1894. Although it is an official holiday, Natural Resources Officers, Corrections Officers, hospital employees, and pharmacy employees were working.These are some of the essential services, provided by OPSEU members.
Pete said Labour Day makes him proud because of achievements such as getting weekends off for workers and universal health care. Pete, who is a Peterborough resident said the attendance at the picnic was about 500 at one point.
Patty Rout, Region 3 Executive Board Member and First Vice-President of OPSEU was at the Durham Labour Councils Picnic in Oshawa. The CAW workers from the Oshawa GM plants appreciated her speech that focused on the theme of solidarity and standing up for each other when times are tough.
Not all of the activities took place on the Labour Day Monday. The Labour Councils of Orillia and Barrie joined forces to hold a Joint picnic on the 12th of September. George Hewison provided the entertainment and members from various Unions, including OPSEU had an opportunity to get together and share their experiences.