The New Westminster & District and Vancouver & District Labour Councils are joining together for a virtual celebration of Labour Day this year.
Safety concerns and restrictions on large gatherings mean that, for more than 120,000 union members in the Metro Vancouver region, another way to mark the day needed to be found.
“This year it is especially important that we celebrate working people,” said Stephen von Sychowski, president of the Vancouver & District Labour Council. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how much we rely on their hard work to keep us all safe, supplied and cared for. Now is the time to thank those workers, recognize them and, most importantly, recommit to fight for their fair treatment.”
The virtual Labour Day event will be broadcast on both labour council digital platforms and will feature the first ever Elsie Awards, recognizing rank-and-file union members in four categories: Awesome Union Activist, Dedicated Front Line Worker, Outstanding Shop Steward and Caring Community Activist.
“We are pleased to highlight workers who were nominated by their peers and unions,” said NWDLC secretary-treasurer Janet Andrews. “We are excited to be able to introduce our communities to just a few of these amazing workers. Their efforts are the foundation our recovery is being built on.”
Labour Day usually draws thousands of workers, families and communities together each year in the Metro Vancouver region.
The virtual celebration is being sponsored in part by Community Savings Credit Union and Vancity Credit Union and will be available starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 7.
It will also feature messages from federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, B.C. Minister of Labour Harry Bains, MLA Bowinn Ma and others.