News that Bob White, founding president of the Canadian Auto Workers, one of the founding unions of Unifor, had died on Sunday made headlines across the country, and shook me and many others involved in the labour movement and social justice causes to our core.
Labour Day is so much a part of our culture that we rarely pause to consider its purpose and meaning. Labour Day is often more associated with fairs and a long weekend, than its original meaning -- a celebration of workers. How has the meaning and structure of work changed since the late 19th-century?
Workers are universally loved (or at least they get some rhetorical "props") when they're downtrodden, but the moment they have the gall to look beyond their "place," they're met with a wave of righteous indignation: Who do they think they are, anyway?