The Toronto Trades Assembly organized Canada’s first significant demonstration for worker’s rights on April 15, 1872. The goal was to release the 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union who were imprisoned for striking for a nine-hour working day. At this time, trade unions were illegal and striking was seen as a criminal conspiracy to disrupt trade.
There was enormous public support for the parade. A few months later, a similar parade in Ottawa passed the house of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John Macdonald. Later that day, he promised to repeal all Canadian laws against trade unions.
Labour Day was originally celebrated in the spring but it was moved to the fall after 1894. Canadian trade unions are proud that this holiday was inspired by their efforts to improve workers’ rights.
Happy Labour Day from the friendly staff here at College Copy Shop! We will be closed Monday September 7th for the holiday.