Oh boy, Labour Day. These days, that is what the younger generation says every September 1st. It’s a day of fun and games, free food and drinks and just a nice day out for the whole family.
It wasn’t always that way. If John Farris was alive, you could ask him how it was when he and co-workers tried to start up a union at Algoma Steel. They were beaten, thrown in jail, branded communists, and slandered by the owners and their supervisors.
They fought every day for dignity and the right to work for a decent wage and benefits.
Today, in a day where the big corporations are trying to eliminate unions altogether, workers don’t really know what their fathers went through to attain a good standard of living for their families. Just putting food on the table, paying the rent, and trying to send their children to school was a mighty chore for them.
It is better today, but if you get a chance to talk to someone who went through the early days, don’t miss that opportunity. They could tell you some horrifying stories that would make you cringe.