Labour Day will spell the last day of summer vacation for Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools students, and for the local education support workers’ union leader, it is a day of importance.
Labour Day is this Monday, Sept. 2.
Rob Zver, CUPE Local 606 president, and his members recently ratified a three-year collective agreement and he said Labour Day is a reminder that collective bargaining is just as important in the past and present as it will be in the future.
“That we can collectively bargain things, that … we’ve gained over the years that better protect workers and also provide employers the security that they need, that if their employees are treated right, [they’ll] become more likely to stay and be loyal to the company because they’re getting treated fairly. They’re getting the respect they earned, they deserve,” said Zver.
Zver said there have been times where people have said workers need to give up rights they’ve earned, but he says the only reason workers give up rights is to line someone else’s pockets.
“Workers make the money for employers,” said Zver. “Employers don’t make the money for the workers. They run the businesses, they make the businesses be what they are … but at the end of the day, if there isn’t somebody that physically does the labour, or make the decisions underneath them, the work is never carried through. Unions have created that balance and it needs to be maintained and Labour Day is about labour.”
The Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council will host a get-together today, Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Transfer Beach in Ladysmith.