In Winnipeg this year, labour union members and activists filled the streets of Winnipeg to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike. It seems hard to believe that in the spring of 1919, almost the entire working population of Winnipeg went on strike to stand up for their basic rights as workers. One motto of the time was “Strike or Starve”. On Labour Day, we reflect on the sacrifices those workers made for a better future.
This year, Labour Day comes just before the launch of an election which will be crucial to our future. This upcoming election is your chance to choose a government that supports workers and the services they provide – and that’s not Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.
For many PSAC members, this election will be a chance to choose our next employer. No matter who forms government, PSAC will be focused on delivering a fair deal at the bargaining table and compensating those of our who faced damages from the Phoenix pay system debacle in an equitable way.
But even for those members who are not directly employed by the federal government the stakes are too high to ignore. We need a government that supports bold action that helps families. Anyone with a health card should have coverage for the medicines they need. That’s why we’re working to win a universal prescription drug plan that covers everyone in Canada. And families across Canada are calling on all levels of government to adopt a universal, affordable and accessible child care system for all Canadians.
These things won’t happen under a Conservative government. We know the Conservative record when it comes to public services: job cuts; service cuts; and constant attacks on our working conditions.
Four years ago working people came together to put an end to the Harper Conservative government. We can’t let Andrew Scheer pick up where Stephen Harper left off.
On this Labour Day, let’s pick up the torch passed to us by those brave workers who, 100 years ago, put themselves on the line for their families, their community and their country. We cannot take for granted what they helped to achieve. Talk to your co-workers, talk to your families and talk to your neighbours. Urge them to support local candidates that are on your side and will fight for the strong action we need.
Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairies