LET’S MAKE LABOUR DAY DIFFERENT THIS YEAR. Let’s make it a celebration rather than an obligation. More like Canada Day and New Year’s Eve than Remembrace Day. A day full of joy and hope: a day that celebrates who we are even more than what we have done.
We are the “happy warriors,” the ones who automatically believe the best about ourselves and our neighbours. We are the ones who bring casseroles to the folks down the block who got burned out; the ones who water the neighbours’ plants when they’re on vacation, the ones who write letters to the editor and sign endless petitions to make the world safer for humans and all living things.
And, we are the ones who join unions.
It’s all of a piece: we stand in solidarity at work, at home and in the community. It’s all for one and one for all, all the time. Why wouldn’t it be?
We are determined to be a force for good. And it is a force that is all ours. Nobody gave it to us. Nobody can take it from us.
It is a force we used to build our unions and create the life we all enjoy today: the eight hour day, the weekend, overtime pay, paid vacations, workers compensation, occupational health and safety laws—so many things that give all of us comfort and joy.
We have done great things together. Much to celebrate and remember. But it is how we have done it all that is our greatest triumph.
We did it. Us. Just us! By ourselves with our workmates, brothers, sisters and comrades. We stood together and we stood up to power—over and over again.
So, this Labour Day let us leave the flannel-mouthed speeches and pre-cooked news releases behind for good. Let us remember and revel in ourselves. How we are the ones we have been waiting for—always have been, always will be.
Let us resolve on this Labour Day, and on every day after, to do what we do best, to glory in being oursleves, to follow the poet’s advice
To the depth of the last day!
Shine—and to hell with everything else!
That’s my motto
And the sun’s.