REPORTING · 3rd September 2013
Labour Day in Kitimat means free hamburgers at the Annual Labour Day Picnic put on by the local unions. It was a sunny day at the Rod and Gun on Monday, September 2nd.
“Our Local has put on a picnic [for years and years]. We like to put a nice do on for all the kids and everybody before they go back to school and we put a little bit back into the community and foot the bill for a nice picnic for everybody,” said CAW 2301 president Rick Belmont.
Belmont told us Labour Day is about raising awareness of the founding of the labour union. Workers enjoy negotiated benefits, rates of pay and hours. It is to celebrate the work which is done by the unions.
Also present were Mayor Joanne Monaghan and MLA Robin Austin.
“I think that we’re very fortunate to have the workforce in our community in the labour and they’re really a good thing for our community. We’re doing really well right now, we’ll probably have 10,000 workers in the next year that will be union and I’m looking forward to it, I want to thank the unions for all that they’ve done to make Kitimat a complete community,” said Monaghan.
“Labour Day is an important reminder of all of the good work the labour movement has done historically in Canada, to give us a sense of community, to give us a sense that if we work together and do things together we are stronger, not just individually, but family wise, community wise and I think that we need to be reminded of that because we live in a world where we think about our private interests and not our community interests,” said Austin.
We also took the time to talk to Belmont about the changes affecting the CAW and CEP unions recently. “The CEP and CAW are joining, they’re going to be over 300,000 across the country covering every type of industry and work place. It is a good variety right across,” said Belmont.
He explained the idea was to build strength in the unions across the country. There will not be much change in Kitimat. The CAW will become Unifor, replace their flags.
Belmont thanked everyone for coming out and hoped they enjoyed their hamburgers, hot dogs and had a great time.
Burger Chef Jose Desilva
Michele Freethy, Lenda Girard and Benilda Gomes
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 3rd September 2013
Thank you, CAW for hosting a great picnic yesterday. The food was great...so was the weather. Couldn't have done it better!