Andria Babbington: “when working people win power in our workplaces and in our communities everyone benefits”
Thousands of workers marched through the streets of Toronto on Monday in support of their trade unions at the Labour Day parade which returned to the city for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are marching for fair treatment of marginalized communities, fair collective agreements, and good jobs for all,” said Jamaica-born Andria Babbington, president of Toronto York Region Labour Council.
“Together we will march ahead to build a more just and equitable society,” she told workers.
Babbington whose union represents 220,000 members, noted that “COVID-19 has shown us society’s inequities.
“Our city’s institutions are under attack by those who wish to dismantle what we workers have fought so hard to build. When I speak to people about their concerns, I hear their frustration the loudest. They are angry, bullied by employers clawing back benefits, corporations squeezing their wallets, and governments quietly forcing austerity.”
She told workers it is critical they vote in next month’s municipal elections.
“We will fight for what we need now and drive demand for worker-friendly change,” she added.
Babbington noted that “ when working people win power in our workplaces and in our communities everyone benefits.
“We owe it not only to ourselves, but to the next generation, to build a liveable city for all of us.”
Among those who joined the march were Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, and Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto- St.Paul’s.
“We need strong unions because inflation is outpacing salary increases,” said Singh.