Labour movement brought us prosperity

The labour movement has contributed to health and safety standards in the workplace, shorter work weeks, as well as gaining workers medical and maternity/paternity leave.

People in countries with high labour standards enjoy better quality of life and less stress overall.

When people are paid well for their labour, they are more productive, which increases the bottom line for employers. And they are less stressed, therefore happier, making parenting and life in general, much easier.

Labour Day is just as important as ever. Households are being challenged at every turn. Housing, fuel, food and other costs are on the rise and expendable income levels have not kept up, especially for the under-45 demographic as well as those on fixed pensions.

A living wage is critical (as are working conditions) for healthy families and a healthy community.

When people earn a living wage, our local economies are healthier too, supporting more local small businesses and creating more employment so that our young people can choose to settle in their home

communities if they want to.

Bonus – people who make a living wage pay more taxes, supporting healthcare, infrastructure and other societal costs.

I think we would have a healthier and happier world in general if there was more equality of income in the workforce. The labour movement has been one of the factors that increased people’s standard of

living for decades.

Many of my ancestors were instrumental in the early movement, working here on the Island in the coal mining and logging industries. Lost two second cousins to accidents – one in each of those industries.

We owe so much to these early crusaders, in terms of workers’ safety, benefits and shorter working hours. We must be ever protective of previous gains and strive to improve working and living conditions for all British Columbians going forward.

Happy Labour Day to all, and gratitude to those who have helped make B.C. such a great place to live and grow and raise a family.

Kate Marsh is a councillor for the Municipality of North Cowichan

Just Posted

What you said: Pay for use water a controversial topic

Public works crews have been busy for the last four years installing water meters

Pair of 11-year-old Cowichan highland dancers heading to Virginia for competition

Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom are excited about the possibilities

Chris Wilkinson column: Where are you on the Happiness U-Curve?

With age and maturity, the focus turns away from social competition and toward social connection.

Music trivia tournament in Duncan a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

Drivesmart column: Wet weather driving dos and don’ts

Wet pavement alone can increase stopping distances by more than 10 per cent.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read