Happy Labour Day from YEU

 

Happy 124th Labour day, Canada!  From its humble beginnings in 1872, it was over 20 years before a National Holiday honoring workers was declared in 1894.  Canadian workers paid dearly with blood, sweat, tears and sometimes their lives to achieve a 58 hour work week – the first battle won by the early, newly organized labour activists.

As organized labour we’ve come a long way in 124 years – a relatively short period of time. With globalization and increasing pressures from the right, it’s more important than ever that we don’t forget the sacrifices made by a few over a hundred years ago. Let’s take some time this Monday to reflect on where we came from and how we can continue to make Canada a better place for all workers.

The Yukon is a pretty well-organized place, at least when compared to the rest of Canada. With almost 33% of our workers unionized, we boast the highest union density per capita and that density has been maintained for over 50 years. In many ways, Yukon is a big union town. This Labour Day, we want to thank everyone who works so hard to keep this territory and this country strong.

This historical photo shows Dawson’s Labour Day Parade in 1906. In the middle of the last century, Yukon’s workers began organizing in earnest. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 2499 was chartered in 1947, while the Yukon Teacher’s Association formed in 1955. The UA, or United Association of Allied Workers representing plumbers, pipe fitters and welders established a Yukon presence in 1958 and the Yukon Territorial Public Service Association (YTPSA) formed in 1965. The YTPSA was the first incarnation of what is now the Yukon Employees’ Union, or YEU/PSAC.

This year, YEU and PSAC are bargaining on behalf of members working for Yukon employers large and small. We are up against some serious challenges to the rights we have fought for over the years. Several of our bargaining units have been forced to prove their solidarity through strike votes and strike action. In these anti-union times, it’s not easy to hold on to what we have. We can’t rest on our laurels or believe that everything we have all worked so hard for is secure.

Employers have their own agendas, and it’s up to all of us to keep the pressure on, and protect the rights of Yukons’ workers, unionized or not.

We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate with our 24th annual Free Labour Day Barbeque in Shipyards Park. Each year our activists pull off one of the largest – probably THE largest free public meal in the territory, complete with fun kids’ activities and coffee provided by Midnight Sun Coffee.  We’ll also be collecting your donations for the Whitehorse Food Bank, building our 2nd Annual Mountain of Mac & Cheese! Hope to see you there!

In solidarity,

Steve Geick,

President, Yukon Employees’ Union

Unions feed the PEOPLE! Join us for a FREE Labour Day BBQ!

2014 Feed the People Poster temp outlined2

Local Y010 and many other Labour groups will be flipping burgers and shucking corn Monday September 1st, celebrating Labour Day in Shipyards Park!  Each year YEU’s largest local sponsors a massive community feast, inviting everyone to join the party. There’s free food, entertainment, old time games for the kids, a bouncy castle and even face painting! Best of all?! AIR NORTH has donated a round trip ticket for one between Whitehorse and Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver. SERIOUSLY!! Everyone who attends is eligible to enter the draw to win this fantastic prize!!

The party starts at 11 and wraps up at 2 – you’ve never SEEN so many burgers and dogs in one place!

Volunteers still needed! Contact organizer Tammi Sikorski if you have a few hours to spare; email her or call 335-1329.   If you have some time on your hands and feel like pitching in, WE NEED YOU!   If you’re a whiz at cutting vegetables, have some kids who’d love to shuck corn or have a king of the grill in your house …. we would LOVE to share the fun.

The folks from the Whitehorse Food Bank will be on hand to collect donations of food and/or cash! If you are able, please bring a donation of a non-perishable food item.

Visit the event’s Facebook page!  Y010; keeping the Unity in Community.

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Please join us!  This is an all ages event, great for the whole family.