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Celebrating the workplace – Happy Labour Day!!!

Today many people turn on the BBQ for the last long weekend of the summer.  They celebrate with families and friends. Students also enjoy a day before starting school.

It is definitely a holiday to celebrate because of this day, the labour union movement advocated rights of workers in the workplace.  This has helped create rights for fair wages, safe working conditions, compensation for injury, and equitable labour relations.

This was all possible by the Typographical Union, however,  in today’s work environment, union memberships have reduced because of the changing dynamics of the workplace, such as contingency and part-time employees.   These employees do not pay union dues because they are not part of the union and thus, do not receive the benefits of union protection.

The historic value of unions was for the interest of the workers, however, it seems that the union leaders are more interested in making money through union dues and not really interested in protecting employees.

Also, with the essential service policy, many places are not able to go on strike.  Essential services are those necessary to prevent danger to life, health or safety and disruption of the public. This can be illustrated from the 2008 the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) went on strike, where many commuters were stranded, however, the mayor at the time, David Miller, ordered that the strike be over because TTC would be considered an essential service.

In your opinion:

1) Do you think the workplace has improved?;  and

2) Do the workplace still need unions?

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