Has Labour Day become just another public holiday?

Most people see Labour Day as a day off to prepare kids for school. (Photo: REUTERS/Ben Nelms)
Most people see Labour Day as a day off to prepare kids for school. (Photo: REUTERS/Ben Nelms)

Labour Day takes place on Monday, September 5 this year and kids across the country will be groaning and moaning about having to return to school after their summer holidays.

Most people see Labour Day as a day off to prepare kids for school or just relax but are people actually aware of its meanings and origin? If not, what are we really celebrating?

Labour Day is a statutory Canadian holiday that was created to honour the organized labour movement. The Canadian holiday coincides with American Labour Day as well. However, Canada was the first to hold Labour Day rallies and events, as far back as 1872 and the Americans did not catch up until 1882.

Though there are still parades today, many Canadians won’t know or stop to remember the historic contribution of organized labour to Canada.

Perhaps it is the fact that Canada has protective federal and provincial labour statutes, laws, rules, and regulations for workers today that makes the holiday less of a big deal to many Canadians.

Or the fact that unions today have labour agreements by which both employees and employers have to abide and if there are violations, there are procedures to deal with these violations in a fair and impartial manner.

At any rate, maybe it’s time to remember what Labour Day truly stands for, or else why even bother with the holiday?
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