(506) 857-2125

The New Brunswick Federation of Labour, is pleased to mark May 1st, International Worker’s Day.

May Day is recognized around the world. It traces its origins to the mid 1880s when a movement of workers protested to get an eight-hour workday. At that time, most people worked between 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week. This movement witnessed many sacrifices; some labour activists even lost their lives as a result, in order to obtain justice for all workers.

“On International Workers’ Day, let’s unite in solidarity to push for positive societal changes that will benefit workers, their families and our communities” says Patrick Colford, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. “This year, international workers’ day feels all the more special because May also marks the one-hundredth year anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike.”

On May 15, 1919, thirty thousand (30,000) public and private sector workers walked off the job and took to the streets of Winnipeg. They rallied for fair wages, fair working conditions and respect in the workplace. The Winnipeg General Strike lasted forty days, until bloody Saturday. On June 21, 1919, Bloody Saturday, police stormed in on horseback and fired into the crowd of workers. They killed two people and injuring several others. Police also arrested several labour leaders that day which ended the strike. The Winnipeg General Strike led to several labour reforms. Two years later, the Government of Canada introduced the first minimum wage.

Patrick Colford concludes by saying: “Many people have worked tirelessly to obtain the improved working and social conditions that we enjoy today. It is our responsibility to do the same for future generations. Together, we can take on the challenges that we face ahead. Let’s work together to improve public services, protect society’s most marginalized populations, and make sure that worker rights are guarded as human rights.”


The NBFL is the central voice of organized labour in the province. We represent over 35,000 workers from every sector of the economy and from every community in the province.

For more information, please contact
Patrick Colford, President NBFL
(506) 857-9153 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)