Labour Day 2020: the Pandemic Reminds us of the Importance of our Movement

On Labour Day, I am reflecting on the meaning of solidarity and how it is the foundation of our movement. This pandemic has been a profound reminder of the importance of solidarity, for the trade union movement and progressive movements more generally.

This Labour Day, and every day before and after, we need to stand up for people who have lost their jobs in the pandemic. As trade unionists, we have to stand shoulder to shoulder with the frontline workers who have worked around the clock during the pandemic, ensuring the sick and dying are cared for, that we can buy groceries, that safety precautions are in place, that parents can go to work with their children at daycare and so much more.

This Labour Day we need to stand up against racial injustice and come to terms with it within our own lives and organizations. Solidarity is standing up against racism and the ways it is perpetuated – day after day. It’s a centuries old problem and our resolve and our solidarity must be even stronger.

We have to continue our fights with renewed energy, and with the conviction that better is possible and WE CAN WIN. COVID has shone a flood light into the many ways that governments everywhere are letting us down and giving corporations a free pass. Many governments talk a good line – but where is the success to show for it? Why are they repeatedly failing to protect local jobs? Why has the gender wage gap not been eliminated? Why are they not protecting our industries from unfair trade and tariffs? Why, so many years after promising it, is there still no universal child care program?

Solidarity is standing up against the challenges that we face, knowing always that we are in this together. I am as hopeful as I am committed.

Ken Neumann
National Director

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