TORONTO, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - This year's Labour Day parade in Toronto will
start at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, September 7. The parade begins at the
intersection of Queen Street and University Avenue and participants will march
to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) fair grounds, finishing at the
Dufferin Street gates.
HISTORY OF LABOUR DAY IN TORONTO
Toronto's Labour Day parade originated in 1872, pre-dating the CNE by
seven years, when thousands of people marched to demand freedom for printers
who were jailed for striking for a nine-hour workday. The printers were
released, laws were changed, and from that time a strong, active and essential
labour movement has been built in Canada's largest urban centre.
LABOUR DAY 2009 THEME
The theme of this year's Labour Day parade is "Good Jobs for All." Canada
and the GTA region need a sustainable economy that provides good jobs and
decent quality of life for all.
"Participants in the Labour Day parade will highlight the struggles in
every sector of the economy for good jobs with decent wages and working
conditions," said John Cartwright, President of the Toronto and York Region
Labour Council. "We cannot be satisfied with a jobless recovery where
thousands of our neighbours are relegated to insecure, precarious jobs at the
whim of the market."
Last November, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, along with its
community allies through the Good Jobs for All Coalition, organised the Good
Jobs for All Summit. Held only one month after the technical start of the
recession, the summit brought together a diverse group of more than 1,000 GTA
workers, students, environmentalists, social justice advocates, youth and
community members to share ideas and develop strategies for the future economy
of Greater Toronto. Out of the Good Jobs for All Summit came the
widely-endorsed Declaration on Good Jobs for All
LEADING THE PARADE
The lead union is this year's parade will be the Labourers International
Union Local 506, which is celebrating 90 years of representing the many
generations of immigrants in Toronto's construction workforce.
THREE MAIN DEMANDS
1. Good jobs for all in a greener economy
As Toronto's unemployment rate exceeds 10%, the first priority of all
governments should be measures to support good, full-time jobs. This
includes ensuring that the region's manufacturing sector is restored
to health and transformed to meet the needs of a new, green economy.
Smart investment is needed in alternative energy, fuel-efficient
vehicles, and large-scale building retrofits, as well as public
services for the growing population.
2. Employment Insurance reform
Throughout the world it is recognised that effective unemployment
insurance is a crucial element in long-term economic recovery. All
year, workers - both employed and unemployed - have fought to fix
Employment Insurance in Canada because so many laid-off workers are
unable to get the EI benefits they have paid for in this time of need.
It is truly shameful that the Conservative minority government and the
Liberal Party opposition cut a deal to delay fixing EI while thousands
are still losing their jobs. As election speculation grows, we call on
all members of Parliament to make EI reform the first order of
business when the House of Commons resumes sitting next week.
3. Fair settlements for locked out workers
The maintenance and skilled trades employees at the TD Centre have
been locked out since June 14. In July, The Cadillac Fairview
Corporation announced the mass termination of all 61 workers who are
long-term employees with an average of more than 20 years service to
the company. These Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union (CEP)
Local 2003 members
(http://www.cep.ca/reg_ontario/files/cadillacfairview.html) have been
maintaining a picket line 24 hours per day, seven days per week and
are committed to defending their rights and making their employer
engage in fair bargaining. Cadillac Fairview has assets of $16 billion
dollars and this last fiscal year was the corporation's most lucrative
ever with nearly a billion dollars in profit.
For further information:
For further information: Ken Marciniec, Communications Coordinator, Good
Jobs for All Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org, (416) 803-6066,
www.goodjobsforall.ca; or John Cartwright, President, Toronto and York Region
Labour Council, (416) 999-5663