Related rabble.ca story:
Labour Day (or fête du travail) is celebrated on the first Monday of September. The day is often marked with parades, protests and reminders of the continued struggles of workers for fair wages, decent hours and safe working conditions.
Canada’s first Labour Day event was way back in 1872. As mechanized labour started to sweep the country with the Industrial Revolution, workers were increasingly easier to replace with machines. The fear of losing their jobs often kept workers in unsafe workplaces, working excessive hours for very little pay. At this time, Canada was still operating under archaic British laws which made unions illegal and had already been abolished in Britain.
On travels this summer, I went to Rochester, NY, which was the home of the Eastman Kodak operation. I visited the Eastman Museum which featured a large exhibit of the photographs of Lewis Hine. While you may not immediately recognize his name, you likely have seen his iconic photographs, especially those dealing with child labour. Life magazine deemed his photograph of the Pennsylvanian breaker boys to be one of the "100 photographs that changed the world." His photographs of young girls working in cotton mills still have the power to move your heart a century later.
With the Ontario election around the corner, we want to know what issues labour leaders are most concerned about!
Check out this video to hear what issues are affecting workers' rights.
Kalpona Akter was 12 when she went to work in one of Bangladesh's garment factories. She worked almost all day, only taking breaks to sleep in the factory.
One day, a fire broke out several floors down from the one she was working on. Her boss wouldn't let her leave at first, claiming that the fire wouldn't spread to other floors. After an hour, they finally opened a staircase -- only one, because management was scared that the employees would steal the clothes they were making.
Enraged by what she saw, she eventually turned her anger into passion and organizing. She was the head of Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity by the time the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar would make the news.
The 27th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress will be held from Monday, May 5 to Friday, May 9 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, 201 avenue Viger Ouest, Montréal (Québec).
For more info: http://convention2014.canadianlabour.ca.
For complete agenda: http://convention2014.canadianlabour.ca/agenda