Enjoy, you earned it!

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Labour/Labor Day: A Day of Rest

Today’s day of rest has been brought to you by the Union Movement. Collective action by workers in both Canada and the US led all provincial and state governments to enact legislation celebrating workers’ contribution to their countries. In Canada the 1872 Typographical Union strike for a maximum 58 hr work week and in the US the 1894 Pullman strike over low wages and 16 hour work days are generally seen as the catalysts leading to the creation of this statutory holiday. In both countries, workers were under pressure to work more, be paid less. In both countries Unions provided workers with the power of collective action to better their socioeconomic conditions.

Happy Labour Day, I hope you are enjoying this earned day of rest.

Canada

Labour Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in Canada since the 1880s. The origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to December 1872 when a parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union’s strike for a 58-hour work-week.[1] The Toronto Trades Assembly (TTA) called its 27 unions to demonstrate in support of the Typographical Union who had been on strike since March 25.[1] George Brown, Canadian politician and editor of the Toronto Globe hit back at his striking employees, pressing police to charge the Typographical Union with “conspiracy.”[1] Although the laws criminalising union activity were outdated and had already been abolished in Great Britain, they were still on the books in Canada and police arrested 24 leaders of the Typographical Union. Labour leaders decided to call another similar demonstration on September 3 to protest the arrests. Seven unions marched in Ottawa, prompting a promise by Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to repeal the “barbarous” anti-union laws.[1] Parliament passed the Trade Union Act on June 14 the following year, and soon all unions were demanding a 54-hour work-week”read more

USA

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” read more

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