Labour Day, Austerity and the Working class

Happy Labour Day everyone. The first weekend in September means many things for many people. For kids it means the end of the summer, that last sleep before the school buses arrive and the daily routine of school starts up until the next summer arrives. While the kids dread the end of the summer, many parents celebrate the start of the school year.  Labour Day means something different to us all.

For me, it’s not only a holiday but a reflection. Labour Day is that annual holiday where we can take a few moments and celebrate the achievements of workers. No doubt, Labour Day has its origins in the labour union. More specifically,  the eight-hour day movement which stood for eight hours of work, eight hours of recreation and eight hours of rest. In the province I live in, Ontario Canada, we have so much to thank the labour movement for. Everyday things we take for granted, such as our public health care system, a five  day work week, health and safety rules in each workplace and so much more are possible because of the labour movement. Yet so many people fail or refuse to realize the influence those workers who took a stand have provided to them. Instead, we point blame and we attack these very institutions who lead the fight against corporate greed.

The middle class around the world are under attack. I spent much of my evenings last week engaged in the rhetoric of the Republican Convention in the U.S.  I will do the same again this week with the Democratic Convention. I am fascinated with American politics and the influence it has on the entire world. I do not profess to be a Conservative by any measure. I believe in equality for all. I have nothing against someone earning more than I do, or being successful in their business. In fact, I give them kudo’s. However, what I do stand against is someone making their money on the backs of others without providing them with their fair share. After all, if it wasn’t for that worker and the skills they brought to the business there would be no success.

And now for my political message, which of course is approved by me…..

The Bank of Canada this week stated that corporations have stashed away over half a trillion dollars. They refered to this as “dead money”.  As economy’s around the world lay dormant this is atrocious really.  These are monies that could be invested in research, technology and innovation. The results would be job creation and competitiveness for Canadian business around the world.  Yet corporations here in Canada and the U.S have decided that an economic crisis is one they can best control.

Since the U.S. banking industry set off the 2008 financial crisis, employers have attacked the wages, working conditions and pensions of working people believing that desperate people are easy targets for their neo-conservative economic agenda and self-interest.  A crisis is to conservatism much like dampness is to mould. This crisis and the suffering of families across this country and others has been invented to further the cause of oppression against working people by those most likely to profit from it.  So just where am I going with this?

The middle class is under attack. In Ontario, we have a minority Provincial Government with the Liberals sitting one seat away from a majority. It’s amazing they call themselves Liberals however because there is nothing Liberal about them. Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of this great province has adopted the austerity approach that big business want.  Their attacks on Teachers, Doctors, Public Servants and our health care systems is increasing each day.

Today, Vanda and I decided we would attend a rally in Kitchener Waterloo where a by-election is being held. This by-election has ramifications for all the citizens of Ontario. If the Liberals are successful they will have majority government and will be free to chop away at the middle class in this province. The real working people’s party in Canadian politics in the New Democratic Party and they are on the rise. Just over a year ago they became the official opposition at the Federal level and since that time have surpassed the sitting Conservative government.

I decided that today I would use this opportunity to shoot some shots at the rally. Speaking at the rally was Andrea Horwath, the Ontario NDP leader and of course Thomas Mulcair who is the leader of the official opposition in Canada.

Now, I know you didn’t come here to listen to me rant on politics and you came to see some photography but hey… this is “this, that and whatever else I can think of” and today with a crucial election here in Ontario and one approaching in the U.S,  I felt the need to make a stand for the middle class!

Here are my shots from the rally and thanks for listening to my rant!

10 thoughts on “Labour Day, Austerity and the Working class

  1.’s happening everywhere lately.. the crisis and attacks on working class I mean..
    a revolution won’t really change too much; a war…not really the…
    I really don’t have an answer to all that’s happening in the world right now,because it’s kind of a big faze.. that will be remembered in history least as the 70s economical crisis.. but us, the majority,normal working people are the ones paying and suffering for it. we just have to deal with we can..

    1. and trhe way to deal with iot is to stand up and say enoug his enough… we need to exercise our rights at the ballot box and change the direction our governments are taking…

  2. One day I would like to hear your thoughts on Canada’s public health care system (pros, cons, etc). I work for a non-profit health insurance company and like to hear different views on government run healthcare. Happy Labor Day.

    1. Well we should chat sometime about this… feel free to contact me with whatever questions you may have. I would not change this system for anything, I am truly amazed watching the Republicans attack on what they call ‘Obama Care’. Public Health Care should be a right for all and in Canada if a political party ever attempted to dismantle it they would be tossed out of office in a heart beat. The system is under attack from the ‘right’ however so far we have been able to maintain a great system.

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