Canada’s unions host a Street Party for a #FairFuture in Toronto

Thousands of delegates representing unions from across Canada hosted a street party in Toronto’s financial sector at lunchtime today. Delegates, observers and guests of the Canadian Labour Congress’ 28th Constitutional Convention flew flags championing equity, green jobs, and an end to Islamophobia as key to a fair future for all Canadians.

Speakers at the event, co-hosted by the CLC and the Ontario Federation of Labour, highlighted the need for decent work and a $15 minimum wage. They also said that for Canada’s unions, a fair future also means challenging racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia.

“The vision for a fair future means different things to different people. All of you here today show how important Canada’s unions are in fighting to make our country better for all workers,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

“But too many Canadians still have precarious and temporary jobs, or have to juggle multiple jobs just to get by. Two million workers in Canada are in temporary jobs, and one million Canadian workers are working multiple jobs. We have to elevate the standard for all Canadian workers,” added Yussuff.

“Tackling insecure, precarious work is the most important social justice and equity issue of our time in that women, racialized people, new Canadians, young workers and those with disabilities are the most affected,” said OLF President Chris Buckley. “Here in Ontario, we need to see changes this year to our outdated employment laws.”

Student union leaders also spoke to the importance of building a fair future for generations to come.

“Students in Ontario pay the highest tuition fees in the country,” said Rawan Habib, President of the York Federation of Students. “As a result, students from the most marginalized communities end up taking on two to three jobs to access education and cover the cost of living. This often places us in precarious working conditions in a competitive workforce.”

Bilan Arte, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of students, added: “Students and workers must be united in our collective struggles against austerity, and for good jobs, social justice and equity. A better world is possible – and united, we will never be defeated!”

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