Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers

Labour Day Message from IFPTE President Junemann

September 2, 2016

Labour Day brings many thoughts to mind.

Labour Day marks the end of the summer months. While those of us with kids have already seen the start of another school year, the Labour Day weekend signals the last deep breath before our families plunge back into the swing of a new school year. It kick-starts the season when footballs are flying, and leaves are falling, and (God forbid) we need to dig though our closets for our jackets and sweatshirts. For Americans, and interested Canadians (who are all VERY interested this year), Labour Day also means the big final push toward Election Day in the US.

And, of course, we need to focus on the real reason we celebrate Labour Day in Canada and the US. We enjoy a day off to acknowledge the value each of us bring to our communities through the work we do. After all, that's the real point of Labour Day,

Labour Day is OUR day. It's All Workers' Day. It's a day that's set aside for us to openly embrace the true meaning of Dr. Martin Luther King's message that, "All labour has dignity." It's the day when each of us - regardless of what we do for a living - can acknowledge the work of others, while we also unabashedly accept the gratitude shown to us on our one special day of the year. (By the way, got plans on going out to lunch on Monday after the parade? Please remember to leave a bigger tip than you normally do.)

While all labour and all work have dignity, and having a job does much to enhance our self-respect, we need more. With the "Fight for 15" comes a stark reminder that we need jobs that build the middle class. Jobs with real wages. Jobs that lead to meaningful careers. Jobs that allow us to raise families - to build communities - to build cities - to build our nations' economies. In short, we need union jobs.

So, Labour Day also means a celebration of the word "Labour" with a capital L. It's a special day for all workers, and it's an especially golden day for those of us who are union members.

Enjoy the day. You've earned it.

Happy Labour Day!

In Solidarity,
Gregory J. Junemann

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