Labour Day Message

Date: September 5, 2016


When people think about Labour Day in today’s world they think about barbeques, the end of summer, and kids going back to school. Labour is typically the last thing many people think about today.
Today is a day to celebrate not only the history of organized labour in this country, but to say thanks to workers in all professions that make this province and our country one of the best in the world.
On March 25, 1872, the Toronto Printers’ Union went on strike. Unions were still illegal in Canada at this point but after three years of lobbying for a shorter work week, drastic action was necessary. Word and support for this strike spread to other workers and culminated with a march through the streets of Toronto on April 14, 1872. What started as a relatively small march by today’s standards grew to 10,000 people as they wound their way through the streets of Toronto to Queen’s Park. The “Nine-Hour Movement” would spread to cities across the Country in the coming years.
A lot has changed in the world in the last 144 years. What hasn’t changed is the importance of the labour movement. While the issues for workers have evolved over the years, the necessity for labour organizations to advocate for their members has never been more important. Without organizations like the OPPA rights for paid statutory holidays, a reasonable length of work week and our benefits would be the exception rather than the norm. So often we take for granted that we have benefits for life, or that all we have to do to pay for a prescription or an appointment with a paramedical professional (eg. chiropractor) is show our benefits card. Collective bargaining, born from the organized labour movement, gives us these benefits which keep our families healthy with little cost to our members.
Founded 62 years ago, the OPP Association continues this proud tradition of giving our members a voice with our employer (the province of Ontario) on matters regarding health & safety, equipment, training and overall compensation. As the duties of both our uniform and civilian members become more and more complex, it is vital that our members have the tools and training necessary to provide the superior service the citizens of Ontario have come to expect and deserve.
We would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Labour Day.
President Rob Jamieson & the Board of Directors
Ontario Provincial Police Association
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