Happy Labour Day! I must admit I've never really questioned why we have such a holiday. It was a day off from the office, to spend it doing something fun with family or friends, what more was there to know? But today I thought I'd click onto Wikipedia.org to see if I could find a nutshell sketch of the history of Labour Day here in Canada.
Historical Tidbits About Labour Day
The celebration of Labour Day has its origins in the eight hour movement, which advocated eight hours of work, eight hours of recreation, and eight hours of rest. (aka as the 40-hour week movement)
According to National Union of Public and General Employees, the historic parade for workers' rights was held in Toronto, Ontario on April 15, 1872. I share an excerpt from this site regarding Labour Day:
"Today, Labour Day is often more associated with fairs and festivals, and a last summer weekend at the cottage, than with what it was meant to be -- a heartfelt celebration of workers and their families...
Today we take paid holidays, safe work places, medical care, unemployment insurance, fair hours, union wages, and 'the weekend' for granted. But how many of these advances would have happened if it were not for the long-forgotten heroes who fought so hard to to make unions, and Labour Day, a reality in the first place?"
Because of their vision and sacrifice, decades later I can still enjoy these benefits. Now that I know, I'm happy to express my thanks and gratitude to all those people over the past century who helped pave the way to improve the lives of working Canadians.
Hoping you can enjoy a day off from your usual labours,