September 1st is Labour Day. It’s a day people come together to celebrate the achievements of workers and their unions throughout North America. Over the years, people have improved their working conditions, wages, vacations, benefits, and health and safety by standing up and demanding change. This has not been easy. Many have risked their livelihoods, and a few have even lost their lives by doing so. But when people stand together, they can make change. The strength that comes from solidarity is a force that can make a real difference in workers’ lives.
Labour standards, minimum wages, employee rights, have all been hard fought by members of labour unions and are just some of the victories which have been won over time.
Labour unions also make a difference in our communities and have social value. We are a democratic organization which does more than negotiate and enforce contracts. At our last convention, over 300 delegates voted to contribute annually to Feed Nova Scotia, Kids Help Line, Transition House Association of Nova Scotia and to provide sustaining funding to the Mental Health Coalition of Nova Scotia. These donations make a difference to our members and to society as a whole. We also know that our members are active volunteers for many non-profit organizations in communities throughout the province.
Labour Day gives us a chance to take time together with our family, co-workers, and friends, to have fun and celebrate all the things we do as workers, as members of our union, and as volunteers in our communities.
Thank you to all the NSGEU members who show up and make a difference!
Happy Labour Day!
Joan Jessome, President, NSGEU
There are a total of six (6) amazing events being planned in different parts of Nova Scotia for LABOUR DAY: HALIFAX, PORT HAWKESBURY, KENTVILLE, SYDNEY, YARMOUTH and NEW GLASGOW
1. Halifax (sponsored by the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council)
The Halifax Labour Day March, Rally, Community BBQ and Music Concert is gathering at 10:00am at Victoria Park (corner of Spring Garden Road & South Park Streets) with a march to the South Commons Triangle beginning at 11:30am. Bring union flags and banners for the march! Featured Speakers for Halifax Labour Day 2014 will include Canadian Labour Congress Executive Vice-President Marie Clarke Walker, Nova Scotia Federation of Labour President Rick Clarke, and Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council President Kyle Buott. The Labour Day Rally, Free Community BBQ and Free Outdoor Music Concert (featuring Joe Murphy & the Water Street Blues Band) take place from 12:00Noon until 2:30pm following the march from Victoria Park. For details, see the Labour Council’s Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/HalifaxLabour or phone Kyle Buott @ 902.453-2074 (o) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Port Hawkesbury (sponsored by the Strait Area District Labour)
The Port Hawkesbury Labour Day celebration will take place from from 2:00 – 3:00 pm at the CEP Union Hall (323 Reeves Street in Port Hawkesbury). Families welcome and there will be lots of free food on hand. This will be an exciting opportunity to get together and celebrate Labour Day with union members from the Strait Area. For more info, contact Wilfridine Crowdis @ 902.248.2315 (h)
3. Kentville (sponsored by the Annapolis Valley Labour Council)
The Annapolis Valley Labour Day Picnic is being held from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm at Memorial Park in Kentville (directly behind the Cenotaph and the monument for injured workers). There will be a DJ, face painting, a bouncy castle for the kids and a dunk tank, with a free pig roast BBQ for all while supplies last. If you are in the Valley be sure to join them for their celebration! Questions? Please see http://Facebook.com/AnnapolisValleyLabour or call: Dean Tupper @ 902.582.7040 (h) or email email@example.com
4. Sydney (sponsored by the Cape Breton District Labour Council)
The Cape Breton Labour Day Picnic will be held on the Downtown Sydney Board Walk (behind the CBRM Civic Centre) from 12:00 noon until 2 pm. They will be serving hotdogs, refreshments and ice-cream and there will be music and other family-friendly entertainment. Local unions are strongly encouraged to bring their flags and banners Always a great event! For info, see http://Facebook.com/CapeBretonLabour or contact Cape Breton District Labour Council via email at President@CapeBretonLabour.ca
5. Yarmouth (sponsored by the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union — NSGEU and the Canadian Union of Public Employees – CUPE Locals 835, 964, 3064)
For the third year, there will be a Labour Day BBQ Picnic in Yarmouth this year, co-sponsored by NSGEU and CUPE Local 835, CUPE Local 964, CUPE Local 3064 and. The event is being held from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm at Frost Park in Yarmouth, with entertainment provided by Simon Leblanc and a free BBQ, kids bouncy castle, and guest speakers. Help to support a renewed Labour Day tradition in Yarmouth! Questions? Please call: Jim Laverie @ 902.761.2934(h) or John Deveau at 902.749.1661 (h).
6. New Glasgow (sponsored by the Canadian Union of Public Employees – CUPE Locals 2330 and other area union locals)
CUPE Locals in Pictou County and others are planning to hold a Labour Day event in the area from 11:00am to 2:00pm at Laurie Peace Park in New Glasgow. This will be the first Labour Day event in that area in a number of years.