Labour Day message from Local 793 Business Manager, Mike Gallagher:
The world feels like a much-changed place since the last time members of Local 793 were able to march together on Labour Day. Back on that day in September 2019, as the Union also marked its 100th anniversary, none of us could have imagined the challenges we would soon face due to the arrival of COVID-19.
But just as in 1878 when a demonstration in Toronto supporting striking printers planted the roots of Labour Day and led directly to the enactment of the Trade Union Act, and in 1919 when workers came together in the aftermath of the Great War to establish IUOE Local 793, we too have found that standing shoulder to shoulder has allowed us to meet the challenges of our own time.
I am sure that all those who came before us would be proud of how our members continued to pull on their boots every day and head out to the jobsite during the pandemic, while much of the country’s economy was shut down and its people were sheltering at home. Your Union fought to make sure you could keep providing for your families and developed an onsite safety protocol and checklist to keep members safe on the job; a protocol that was adopted by many signatory contractors and endorsed by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, amongst others.
But that hasn’t been our only fight.
This year we stood together on picket lines across the province to win improved agreements that not only reflected the sacrifices made during the COVID-19 crisis, but also to protect members from the worst effects of the growing cost-of-living crisis that is sweeping economies around the world. The industry-leading gains we won together proved once again that we are all stronger together.
Now, as workers once again march to honour the sacrifices and successes of the past 150 years, we can be assured that Local 793 members have earned the right to stand alongside them.
As in 2019, nobody can predict what might be coming down the road, but I do know Local 793 has never been as united as it is now and that there is no obstacle our members cannot overcome. On this Labour Day, that alone is worth celebrating.
I hope all of you who are able will join us with your families at one of the many parades being held around the province on Monday (Sunday in Oshawa) and at the Local 793-organized events that follow. Click here for details about the parades and events in various districts.