2nd largest Labour Day parade in Ontario

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rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture
2nd largest Labour Day parade in Ontario

iWell I'm off to the Labour Day parade in Port Elgin...parade at 11, free lunch at the CAW centre, bike rodeo for the kids, classic car show, motorcycle show...celebrate the freedoms Labour has achived in this country...and mourn the massive job losses in our community


See you there

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

Jeez, did I miss an active thread on the subject?


In solidarity


Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to view Facebook pics. (I'm not on Facebook).

For forty years now at least (since the 1972 Common Front) mainstream trade union confederation "Fête des travailleurs/travailleuses" celebrations have been on the 1st of May, but it is important to take any opportunity for commemoration.


The Tyee had a great history piece last week.  In BC we began celebrating both workers' days 112 years ago.


Workers celebrating workers

Thus the two days began in similar ways, and they were originally celebrated in much the same way in B.C. The first Labour Day parade in Vancouver was held in 1890, four years after the city's birth, less than one year after the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council was formed, and four years before the statutory holiday was declared. Floats showing off the skills of the craft unions and marchers were led by the president of the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council to Stanley Park where speakers urged workers "to bring about the time when each man shall enjoy the just rewards of his labour." A tug-of-war competition was won by the longshoremen's team, and the prize of $10, perhaps two or three days' pay for a union craftsman, was to be sent to striking miners on Vancouver Island. Thus Vancouver's first Labour Day was a celebration of workers by workers to develop solidarity and working-class consciousness.

labour day parade

Undated, early 20th century photo of Labour Day parade in Vancouver taken by Philip Timms, likely at the corner of Hastings and Cambie. Source: UBC archives.

While Vancouver workers did not celebrate May Day as a day for labour in 1890, Victoria workers did respond to the call of the Second International. In contrast to many U.S. and European cities that saw massive marches and unruly street protests, however, Victoria workers held a banquet with speeches by local politicians and labour leaders on the shorter hours movement and wages. Far from being a revolutionary threat, the Victoria May Day was praised by the mainstream press for its peaceful activities and reasonable demands.

But May Day did capture the imagination of workers around the world who transformed the traditional spring festivities into a manifestation of working-class power.