This letter is in response to the Brandon Sun editorial on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Labour day is not a day for celebration. We workers are faced with a global assault that mostly began with free trade.A downward spiral of job loss and wage stagnation, constant attacks on workers’ rights and legislations all in the name of growth and prosperity, but for who?
Unions have fought for and won many of the benefits for every Canadian worker. The creation of the Canada Pension Plan, workers compensation boards, every Health and Safety law, labour codes, overtime pay or the 40-hour work week.
Workers’ rights are just that, rights, no party should attack them and no person should vote for a party that boasts that if given the opportunity they would attack workers. These rights protect us at work, they are not “red tape.”
More than 1,000 workers are killed from work every single year in Canada alone. These are our mothers and fathers, our children or grandchildren, who get killed at work.
A union fight for better wages or benefits brings everyone’s wages up, as employers have to raise wages to be able to compete in the labour market for employees. Higher wages and decent benefits build better economies and better communities.
We should be praising unions for saving lives and building a better Manitoba for everyone.
May 1 is the true Labour Day as unions and workers all around the world express global solidarity against global exploitation of workers.
When you shop as a consumer, you can make better choices first: Buy union and Buy Canadian — there are many great products produced and sold locally.
You can also buy products that are made in countries that have workers’ rights and unions, as there are more countries that do not exploit their workers on this planet than countries that do.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 8, 2012