This Labour Day, as we pause to recognize the historic contributions of working people in Canada, it feels like there is little to celebrate and much to hope for.
This COVID-19 crisis has been very hard for workers across the country—those who have lost loved ones, those who were put out of work, and those who were deemed essential and had to keep working at great risk to themselves and to their families.
As the dust settles, we will need to start to rebuild. We need a robust economy, built around a fair, generous and inclusive society where no one is left behind.
The Canadian Labour Congress and Canada’s unions are calling on all levels of government to replace lost jobs with better ones by hiring people to build green infrastructure, to educate our youth, to care for others—and to give workers paid sick leave and a living wage.
Workers are calling for a strengthening of public health care to include mental health, pharmacare and home care, and an end to privatization in the long-term care sector.
Workers want reforms to employment insurance, disability benefits, education and training, as well as pensions to make all of these more secure and reliable.
We all must reject American-style cuts, austerity and the “me-first” politics we are seeing in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a very important lesson: Canada’s economic, health and social goals are inseparable. It’s time to disaster-proof our nation.
Lois Rugg, President
Kamloops and District Labour Council