Labour Day

Jerry Dias (President, UNIFOR), Robyn Benson (National President, PSAC), Paul Moist (President, CUPE)

Labour Day is a time to reflect on everything workers and unions have gained in the past and to recommit to fighting for a better future. The labour movement has always sought to improve the living standards of all workers, not just those fortunate enough to belong to unions.

Unions stand up against injustice and bargain collectively to ensure that workers receive equal and fair treatment. When one union makes gains, this puts pressure on all employers and the government to agree to the same improvements for others. This momentum has given all workers countless benefits, from parental leave to health and safety protections. Unions, taking action together, have made Canada a more prosperous and secure place.

Over the next year we will be relying on union solidarity and action to keep moving forward despite the relentless push by the Harper government to lower the standard of living of the majority of Canadians. The federal Conservatives are cutting public services, raising unemployment, taking away social benefits, and creating greater inequality and insecurity. They are pitting unionized workers against non-union, and those with pensions and benefits against those who have none. They are forcing workers and Canadians into a race to the bottom. But PSAC will not enter that competition. Instead, we will organize with others to fight for a better quality of life for everyone.

Canada is one of the richest countries in the world. We have the resources and the means to give every citizen a decent standard of living. We can eliminate poverty. We can give every citizen the right to retire with a proper pension. We can fund a new national child care program so that all children get a good start in life, and working parents can do their jobs without worry.

The federal Conservative government wants less for Canadians, while the PSAC wants us all to have more. So on this Labour Day, we pledge to organize our members to stand together for fairness. We will use our collective bargaining power to resist employer attacks on our collective agreement rights. And we will support other unions who are doing the same. We will demand that for the benefit of all Canadians. And we are doing this in solidarity with other unions and citizens across the country.

Together we will succeed.

In Solidarity,

Robyn Benson,
National President

August 28, 2014
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