Unions gather to celebrate Labour Day with first post-pandemic parade

Winnipeg’s unions got together Monday to celebrate achievements made for the workers with the first Labour Day Picnic and Parade to be held since the pandemic began.

The event was organized by the Winnipeg Labour Council, with many organizations taking part. Represented in the parade were the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) as well as the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Unifor, and OE 981, among others.

“Today we’re all out here together to celebrate Labour Day, and all of the things that workers have gained for society in general over the last 100 years plus,” said Nathan Martindale, vice president of the Manitoba Teachers Society.

Martindale thinks a lot of people take Labour Day for granted, “They don’t realize that it was unions who brought things like long weekends, and Labour Day, and paid sick leave, and maternity and parental leave benefits, the list goes on and on,” he said.

Participants sporting various union flags and t-shirts met at Memorial Park before walking north down Memorial Boulevard. The parade then proceeded west on Portage Avenue to Vimy Ridge Park, where the celebration concluded with a picnic.

Martindale says it’s a meaningful holiday for him.

“To have one day to celebrate all of those gains and all of those things that labour has won for workers, both in Manitoba and around the world is important.”

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