Canada Needs a Plan for Progress, Not a Return to Normal

By Janet Andrews, Secretary-Treasurer of New Westminster and District Labour Council & Stephen von Sychowski, President, Vancouver and District Labour Council

-- Sept 2020

Labour Day is coming up on September 7 and, as always, it is a time to celebrate and reflect upon the hard work, struggles, and victories of working people and the labour movement both past and present.Essop Mia

The ElsiesThis year, it is especially important that we recognize the contributions of front-line workers, and those behind the scenes, who are making it possible for us to weather the storm of COVID-19.

That’s why the virtual Labour Day event hosted by jointly by the New Westminster & District Labour Council and the Vancouver and District Labour Council will focus this year on recognizing the work of  Awesome Unions Activists, Dedicated Front Line Workers, Outstanding Job Stewards, and Caring Community Activists with the first ever Elsie (Labour Council) Awards.

But we can’t stop at thanking these workers and honouring their crucial contributions. This Labour Day we also must commit ourselves to fighting for a better world for them, and for us all.

The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a harsh light on the inequalities and injustices that characterize our current economic system. At the very same time, we are witnessing a tremendous upsurge against systems of oppression in our society, especially systemic racism.

On Labour Day 2020, we are calling for societal transformation. Canada’s labour movement has a plan for progress that includes everyone. Labour’s plan will even the playing field, promote better jobs, improved health and safety, and a stronger social safety net.

We cannot and will not accept austerity and cuts as a path to recovery, nor should we seek a return to normal. Instead we must chart a bold new path to a just and equitable society. We must also stand together to confront racism and all forms of oppression and bigotry.

Please join us on Labour Day at 11:00am on our Labour Council websites and social media accounts for a celebration of our accomplishments as workers. Then, let’s set to work on pushing forward our plan for progress, for a just recovery and a better society for all of us.

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