It is my pleasure on behalf of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, and our 35,000 affiliates, to wish all New Brunswickers a Happy Labour Day! I also wanted to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to all New Brunswick workers who devote their time, energy and talents to make our province a better place.
It is all too easy to take for granted the role that unions have played and continue to play in improving our working lives. Labour Day is more than a day off. It is a day to reflect on the important role that workers play in the economy and in society. It is also a day to reflect on the gains made over the years and the work that remains to be done.
Over the past four years, union activists have worked with government. This work has resulted in some important gains that are improving the lives of working people. First contract arbitration is now the law, making it easier for unions to negotiate a first collective agreement with resistant employers. Improvements are underway to make quality child care more affordable and available for families. The government introduced intimate partner and sexual violence leave and violence is now recognized as a workplace hazard.
Its not time to rest on our laurels though. The New Brunswick Federation of Labour will be working during the election campaign to raise awareness and evaluate political parties’ platforms based on our four priorities: 1) Restoring balance at WorkSafeNB and improving health, safety and compensation laws, programs and services for injured workers; 2) Maintaining ownership and control over public services and infrastructure; 3) Adopting pro-active pay equity legislation to cover employees working in the private sector; 4) Revising the Employment Standards Act to improve basic labour standards in the province.
To be successful in making labour’s issues a priority with the political parties, we will need your help. To learn more about the NBFL’s priorities and how the political parties stack up against them, I invite you to visit our web site at www.fednb.ca. Please do not forget to get out and vote on September 24.
For additional information, please contact:
First Vice-President, NBFL
(506) 545-0651 (cell)
Labour Day events happening in the province are as follows:
Bathurst: September 3. Parade starts at 1 pm, BBQ and speeches to follow. Coronation Park on Monroe Street in Bathurst. For information, contact John Gagnon at (506) 545-0651.
Dalhousie: September 3. Parade starts at 10:30 am at Fire Hall, followed by BBQ at Rotary Park. For information, contact Brian Arseneault at (506) 686-4050.
Edmundston: September 2. 11 am to 4 pm. Hot dog roast and inflatable games for kids. 239 Principal Street St Basile NB. For information, contact Lorn Martin (506) 737-7063.
Fredericton: September 3. 12 noon to 4 pm. BBQ, live music & games. Officer’s Square in Fredericton. For information, contact Kevin Smallwood at (506) 999-4889.
Moncton: September 2. 12 noon to 3 pm. BBQ, live music & games. Centennial Park in Moncton. For information, contact Janice Melanson at (506) 530-4478.
Saint John: September 3. Parade starts at 12 noon at King Square North, followed by BBQ at Fisher Lakes. For information, contact Chris Watson at (506) 663-9123.