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Labour Day celebration to honour union contribution to community

AMHERST – Unions have played a major role in securing many of the rights and benefits have today.

A group of local unions is hosting the second Labour Day celebration in Victoria Square in Amherst on Monday from 12 to 4 p.m.

For that reason, Mike Clark says it’s important to hold Labour Day in high esteem – not just as another holiday on the calendar.

“People know that Labour Day is a holiday, but they don’t know what it’s about,” said Clark, who works at IMP Aerostructures in the Amherst and Area Industrial Park and is a member of the United Steelworkers of America local there. “To a lot of people it’s just another holiday and they often overlook it’s significance.”

To celebrate the occasion, a number of union locals in the Amherst have come together to organize their second Labour Day celebration at Victoria Square on Monday from noon to 4 p.m.

There will be musical entertainment, a bouncy castle for the children as well as face-painting, popcorn and a barbecue operated by JCs Taekwon-do.

Cumberland-Colchester NDP candidate Wendy Robinson will be joined by former Cumberland North NDP MLA Brian Skabar, steelworkers local co-ordinator Lawrence McKay and town councilor Lisa Emery and fellow town councillor and former Cumberland District Labour Council president Terry Rhindress in making a few remarks.

Clark said he wasn’t sure how last year would go, but he was amazed at how people came together to organize the event, saying it helped raise awareness toward the importance of the labour movement.

“It’s something we can’t take for granted because without the union movement many of the rights we have today as workers would not be there,” Clark said. “Where would we be without an organization dedicated to furthering workers’ rights and looking out for their interests.”

While the labour movement has made significant gains over the years, he said there’s still much work to be done. Today, postal workers are fearing for their jobs now that Canada Post is doing away with door-to-door delivery while provincial government employees engaged in a fight with the Liberal government over collective bargaining.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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