The first Monday of every ninth month, September, is celebrated across the nation as “Labour Day”.
Canada first celebrated Labour Day in every province and territory in 1894. The holiday originated in 1872 as an opportunity for workers to “campaign for better working conditions and pay.” It was an act organized by unions to create more suitable working conditions and remuneration to accompany those conditions. The quest for Labour Day began boldly in March of 1872 when printing press employees of Toronto went on strike after numerous calls for attention and as a response to their plea for a shortened work week. Unions and striking representatives were finally recognized by political leader John A. Macdonald who passed the Trade Union Act, deeming unions legal. In 1894, 22 years later, with much “pressure from the working class, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson declared Labour Day a national holiday.” We share the holiday with our neighbours in the United States.
Over the past century, “Labour Day has strayed from its origins and evolved into a popular celebration. It is viewed as the last celebration of summer, a time for picnics, barbecues and shopping.”
As we celebrate Canada’s 121 nationwide Labour Day, we wish you a long weekend filled with rest, relaxation and fun!