As Canada Day is upon us, I sit here and reflect on what it means to be Canadian and what the union movement means to Canada.
For me, being Canadian means helping one and other in times of need; from the Fort McMurray fires, to the Manitoba flood of 1997, to reaching out and helping people in Haiti. Our common goal is to do what is necessary to help our communities here and abroad. We value and welcome a vibrant, multi-cultural community that celebrates our Indigenous heritage, while offering a new home to people from around the world who choose to Immigrate to Canada. As Canadians, we have a great sense of caring and this reputation precedes us throughout the world. We are a people that are willing to work to achieve real fairness.
When I think about unions, the words that come to mind are fairness and equality; between workers and also within the workplace. I think of how we create a level playing field within the workplace where in many instances an economic imbalance occurs simply because of capitalism itself. The union movement only wants what’s deserving. We want and strive for a fair day's pay and for a fair day's work.
When you think about it, our Canadian and union values have much in common. Historically, a strong union movement means a strong middle class and a strong middle class means a strong Canada.
As Canadians, we still have work to do within our home and abroad. But we have much to celebrate on Canada’s 150th birthday. We live in a safe, prosperous country that strives for fairness and growth. Let us give thanks to this great country we call home.
Have a safe and happy Canada Day!
Operating Engineers of Manitoba Local 987