blog

Apr28

Labour of Love

Author // Anita Stellinga

National Volunteer Week 2017

As we close out National Volunteer week, I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge our amazing brothers and sisters in the labour movement who volunteer with United Way of Peel Region.

Nationally, United Way and the Canadian Labour Congress have partnered together since 1988. Representing over 3 million individuals, the Canadian Labour Congress is the largest federation of unions in Canada. Unions care deeply for their communities, Working on issues related to social justice and improving the quality of life for individuals and families. Working together with United Way at a national and local level, the Canadian Labour Congress engages and endorses the support of United Way across Canada.

Last year, unionized workplaces donated over $2.9 million dollars to United Way of Peel Region. Possibility is something that the labour movement has been creating for decades and I am so proud of all that we have accomplished together for residents in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.

Today, I also want to pause with our brothers and sisters of the labour movement to acknowledge the Day of Mourning; a day to honour workers killed or injured while on the job.

Here are a few words from Jim McDowell, President of the Peel Regional Labour Council about this important day:

“April 28th is the Day of Mourning - a time to honour workers killed or injured on the job.

This year, the Canadian Labour Movement is recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Westray mine explosion which killed 26 miners. No one was ever held responsible for these worker’s deaths – the Peel Regional Labour Council is calling on the Federal Government to enforce the Westray Law sections of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Now an international observance as a day of mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill by their job, the declaration of April 28th as the Day of Mourning began here in Canada. In 1984, unions in Sudbury, Ontario, adopted the day as one to publicly acknowledge workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, and the Canadian Labour Congress officially declared the day of remembrance. The date of April 28th was chosen to reflect the anniversary of the day Ontario passed the Workers’ Compensation Act in 1914.

On April 28, join one of the hundreds of ceremonies across the country, or light your own candle in honour and reflection of the thousands of lives forever changed, and to renew your commitment to workplace health and safety – and ending such needless suffering.”

Together with our partners in the labour movement, I am confident that we are making a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals and making our communities a much better place.

Canada recognized its first National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace: a day where flags fly at half-mast, and we hold ceremonies across the country to recognize the lives needlessly lost, and the tremendous suffering of those left in the wake of workplace tragedy. In the years since, more than 100 other countries have also adopted the observance known widely as Workers’ Memorial Day.

On April 28, join one of the hundreds of ceremonies across the country, or light your own candle in honour and reflection of the thousands of lives forever changed, and to renew your commitment to workplace health and safety – and ending such needless suffering.”

Together with our partners in the labour movement, I am confident that we are making a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals and making our communities a much better place.

About the Author

Anita Stellinga

Anita Stellinga

Acting President and CEO

Anita Stellinga began her career with United Way in 1995 and was appointed Director, Community Investment in 2000. She became the Acting President and CEO in February 2017.

 

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