Labour Day is a celebration of the labour movement in Canada and that is something that isn’t lost on Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council.
The council will celebrate the movement, and rights that have been won for workers, by hosting a barbecue at Transfer Beach in Ladysmith, says Ellen Oxman, president of the council.
It’s the council’s 26th annual barbecue taking place Monday (Sept. 5) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and all are welcome. Oxman said there are hotdogs, treats, giveaways and music.
“The event promotes the work that labour does in our communities,” said Oxman. “The things that we work for all year round. It’s just a way to celebrate that and also to raise awareness. We partner with United Way, which is the charity of labour, so United Way always has a booth there and let’s people know what they do in our community.”
Unions that are part of the council are also in attendance, Oxman said.
However, Labour Day isn’t the only day of note for the movement. April 28 is the National Day of Mourning, a day that remembers workers who have lost their lives or suffered injuries on the job due to hazards and incidents of violence.
“It’s an especially important day for us,” said Oxman. “We work towards safety in the workplace, not just for union members, but for all workers and we want everybody to be able to come home at the end of the day.”
In particular, Oxman said the labour council is looking to raise awareness about asbestos.
“Even though Canada hasn’t produced asbestos for a number of years, it is so prevalent in all of our office buildings, our schools, our hospitals and over 2,000 Canadians still die every year from asbestos-related diseases,” said Oxman.