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Labour02Dear Editor;

On September the 2nd, 2019 we celebrated Labour Day. On this day we officially celebrate “work and workers”, something we should celebrate everyday. Parades and celebrations took place across Canada and as has been the case since the mid nineties the Labour Day parade and community event in Port Elgin ON was a huge success.

It is expected that parades in large urban areas draw large numbers of parade participants and large crowds along the street, but this is not always the expectation in smaller towns. If big parades are not always expected in smaller towns, Port Elgin on Labour Day is certainly the exception. It is no accident that the Port Elgin Labour Day event is so successful. There is significant union membership or density in the area, so much that one report called Port Elgin a “union bastion”. Union bastion, that is a compliment for sure. Call it what you will, but the number of union members in the Port Elgin area and along the Lake Huron Shoreline area is responsible for not only a hugely successful Labour Day event, but far more importantly it is the key component of large-scale prosperity in the region.

The play by play for the Port Elgin Labour Day parade is as simple as the commitment of Unifor and Unifor Retirees, Building Trades Unions, Grey Bruce Labour Council Affiliates and the community to all be counted in support of each other and the desire to improve life for all people. Of course we know this to be the opposite of the Doug Ford government and a Scheer government if it were to be elected.

Organized Labour is always keen to extoll the prosperity and improve standard of living that accompanies union membership, but perhaps even more near to the heart of the Labour Movement is never losing site of the need, and the rock upon which it was formed, to organize the unorganized so that more workers will find themselves in the enviable position of earning on average 30 percent more.

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labour04Labour Day in Ontario had profound messages for every citizen. The messages consisted of ensuring the rights of all people are respected, that all forms of discriminations and harassment are intolerable, that public services must be fully funded, that healthcare for all must include pharmacare and dental care and that unions and the charter rights of union membership and the right to collective bargaining must be respected and unassailable. Underpinning all this is the need to vote for real progressive change in October.

There are many to thank for a successful celebration and it would be impossible to thank everyone by name in a letter to the editor, but it is easy to thank people who will not let go of the burning desire to improve life for all, and they are all present and accounted for in Port Elgin on Labour Day.

Dave Trumble
VP, Grey Bruce Labour Council

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