31 August, 2017 9:00 AM

Step Up & Speak Out: Labour Day Parade 2017

Thousands To March Demanding Strong Labour Law & Employment Standards

More than twenty-five thousand working people and their families are expected to march in the streets of Toronto for the annual Labour Day Parade. Organized by the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, this year’s Parade theme “Step Up and Speak Out” reflects the call for strong laws that protect workers’ rights to fair wages, benefits and a union voice at work. The theme also focuses on the role of labour in challenging racism and discrimination.

“Too many people are working in precarious jobs, and the law needs to bring balance into the workplace.” said John Cartwright, President of the Labour Council. “The Labour movement wants what is fair to ALL Ontario workers – good jobs with fair wages, but also inclusive workplaces and communities where everyone is welcomed and accepted.” Cartwright added, citing the fight around Bill 148 and the Labour Council campaign urging union activists to “step up and speak out” on racism and Islamophobia.

The labour movement is focused on the need to update Ontario’s labour laws and Employment Standards Act and strengthen workers’ rights. “The Provincial government has the opportunity to make millions of Ontario families have healthy lives simply by ensuring workers’ rights that don’t discriminate between part-time and full time, raising the minimum wage to $15 and enforcing labour laws without exemptions.” said Labour Council Vice-President Andria Babbington. “It should be easier for people to join a union to improve their working conditions, get benefits and fight discrimination. When families have stable jobs, economy, as a whole does better. This is about OUR families today and OUR grandkids futures”.

The parade leaves from Queen and University on Monday, September 4 th at 9:30am and goes along Queen Street West to congregate at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds. This is the largest Labour Day Parade in North America, and its long history illustrates the immense tenacity, pride and spirit of Toronto’s labour movement.

The Toronto and York Region Labour Council is a central labour body that combines the strength of over 150 local unions representing 205,000 women and men and who work in every sector of the economy.

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