Labour Day Parade in Toronto
Labour Unions Celebrate Labour Day
With over half a million jobless and unemployed this year, Ontario's public service and union workers celebrated the annual Labour Day, Monday, September 7 with a parade joined by thousands from other unions across the province. The march stretched along University Avenue, Queen and Dufferin Streets culminating at the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). The recession, massive job losses and benefit cuts had effectively strenghtened the spirit of solidarity among Ontario's organized labour movement.
More than 28,000 people and 40 unions joined the parade with banners and slogans calling for "Good Jobs for All, EI improvements, public pension increases and the need to mobilize and organize more workers into unions."
NDP leader Jack Layton said the Labour Day celebration has special significance because of the increasing number of unemployed Canadians. Many of those unemployed, he said, are unable to get help from the Employment Insurance because they don't qualify. Half of the 500,000 unemployed Canadians had difficulty getting employment insurance benefits.
Labour leaders spoke about the need for green jobs, public pension increases and fixing the Employment Insurance (EI) system and an end to benefit cuts.
(Please read related article "Dawn of a New Day comes as Workers Link Up Arms" by clicking on the right hand column "Read more hubs by MercuryNewsOnline")