Auntie Says...

Labour Day. The First Monday of September Isn’t All About a Long Weekend. It Reps The Struggle For Worker Rights. Where Would We Be Without the Historical Fight?

In our world today, even with all the covid stuff, we have rights as workers that weren’t always present. Labour Day (aka: Labor Day) is celebrated in several countries around the world either in September or on May Day, which is International Workers Day.

The last couple of years have been a struggle for workers and employers alike. There’ve been restrictions, lay-offs, and working within settings that are dangerous and stress inducing. Staff have been under tremendous pressures to comply with changing regulations and expectations. This has been a true struggle–everywhere.

If you look back on the history of Labor Day, you’ll learn that the movement started back in the late 1800’s and was about protecting the average worker. Things like fair wages, work hours, child labor laws, and conditions are all part of the labor movement. It was the birth of unions and labor organizations that marched and fought for rights. You can check out more about Canada’s working class history HERE.


On this particular Labour Day 2021, during your picnic or back to school shopping, just pause and remember the history. So many lessons have been learned, mistakes made, and apologies given. The truth is that everyday is a step forward. With movements like #metoo and employment equity, I hope we can even make the workplace even safer and more inclusive.

Today, as I write this, we’re still in the midst of the covid pandemic. There’s dissension in what is best for our health and many workers are taking the brunt of it by means of harassment. This isn’t fair. Workers (and/or protesters) need to take their fight to their union representatives, Minister of Labour, or Government official and not parade and create disturbances outside places like elder care homes and hospitals.

Over a century ago, workers fought to be heard by governments and big business. That is why we now have unions to fight for our rights, why we have laws to protect us, why we have benefits to assist us with everyday things, and why we’re not sending our young children into factories to earn money for the family.

Auntie Message:

As an Auntie, I want all young people to recognize that they have rights within their workplace. Your safety and well-being are considerations to take seriously. If there is an issue, there are protocols in place. If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to comment below and we can discuss. Enjoy the day. Enjoy the spirit of the day. Celebrate the history that gives us our freedoms and means to be heard. Happy Labour Day.

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9 thoughts on “Labour Day. The First Monday of September Isn’t All About a Long Weekend. It Reps The Struggle For Worker Rights. Where Would We Be Without the Historical Fight?”

  1. On this day I like to think of all those who died giving me my right to Unionize. The Ludlow massacre happened not far from where I live so I think about the rights of workers on this day. I think about the right to peacefully organize and it galls me when the Republican party tries to make it harder to do that.
    In any case Long may we have these rights and long may we fight to keep them.

    1. Hi Billie. I googled Ludlow Massacre as iI had no idea what it was. It’s historical events like these that need to be remembered and brought up on days like Labour Day. We take so many of our freedoms for granted thar soon we’ll be repeating them 😔

  2. Hey, Faye. As I write you will be on the road to the coast. Beautiful weather for you and Piper to travel in! Enjoy your time away. Any break we can get these days from the craziness is a good thing!

    Thank you for your latest blog. We certainly have come a long way regarding employment in Canada!

    You referenced the recent protests at hospitals. I was at the rally in front of KGH last Wednesday. Perhaps you know this. I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify the reason for my presence that day. I am doing this not to justify myself, but because my relationship with my extended family, including you, is very important to me. I love you and I do not want an unnecessary misunderstanding to cloud our relationship.

    The media was dishonest and unprofessional in how they covered the rally to support health workers, Castanet in particular. They completely mischaracterized the reason for my participation.

    I stood in front of KGH to support and encourage those doctors, nurses, etc. at KGH who face the termination of their employment in October unless they surrender autonomy over their bodies to receive a vaccination that they feel is unwise/unsafe. To let them know that we hear them, that we empathize with them, that this is not OK.

    This is personal for me for it includes Olivia, Mom’s beloved care aide.

    Our health care workers are truly worthy of our respect and gratitude. All of them. That a designated portion will be thrown to the side by our governing authorities is unjust and short sighted. And unsafe. How will remaining staff care for the all of the health needs of patients?

    I think this is the first protest/demonstration that I remember participating in as an adult. I let my body and my voice follow my conscience and convictions. It was peaceful. It was lawful. It was liberating, Faye.

    You may still disagree with me on this, Faye. That’s OK. I have not written to try and change your mind. I just wanted you to understand where I’m coming from.

    Love, Nancy

    1. Hey Nan. Just got back. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t read castanet etc. Just my own observations.

      I too am ProChoice and allowing for autonomy over one’s body. No one–like no one–should be told or forced into making choices because of other people.
      That’s why we live in a democracy and not a dictatorship.

      My point with the whole vax thing was more about the LOCATION of protest. Patients, doctors, nurses etc. are there to do a job and they have absolutely no power to address political issues–which in my opinion is what this is as it’s the powers that be who people are mad at….take the fight to the MLAs office…not the hospital. That’s all I’m saying.

      Historically the labour movement fought for rights to gather, unionize and protest but they were also given a voice to speak for their collective.

      I refuse to fight or get pulled into fights on vaxing or anything similar. i will continue to wear my mask. I am double vaxxed. I love science. And of course I love you too. You’re an awesome sis-in-law! xoxo

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