Labour Day 2017

This holiday represents an important opportunity to reflect on the trade union movement’s rich history, and to renew our commitment to the many fights ahead. You may not realize this, but Labour Day and the tradition of Labour Day parades in Canada has its origins in the late 19th century. On April 14, 1872, 2,000 workers from the Toronto Typographical Union took to the streets to demand the workday be capped at nine hours. On their way to Queen’s Park, thousands of other workers joined in. The crowd was 10,000 strong —10% of Toronto’s population — by the time they reached their destination. It turned out to be the first annual Labour Day parade. This event has inspired labour leaders across Canada, including PEI, to honour the September Labour Day.

The labour movement grew stronger through the 20th century. Unions won shorter workweeks, the weekend, employment insurance, workplace safety laws, and maternity and parental benefits. While those policies lifted up union members, they also benefited other workers, too. Fighting for all — union member or not — remains a core principle of Canada’s labour movement. CUPE PEI has been fighting for its members at the bargaining table, but also in the political sphere. For example, this last year, we have fought for a better electoral model – Proportional Representation – and lobbied to reverse Harper-era attacks to Employment Insurance.

September 4th is a day to recommit ourselves to keep pushing for further rights to improve the lives of all PEI workers. It’s a day to mobilize and demonstrate the solidarity and power of working people.

In 2018, Islanders will head to the ballot boxes for municipal elections. Mobilizing the movement starts with encouraging friends, neighbours and co-workers to take active roles in the political process by supporting progressive candidates and by reminding politicians that working people united create a positive force that cannot be denied.

On behalf of the 3000 members of CUPE PEI, we wish every Islander a Happy Labor Day.

Leonard Crawford,
Interim President, CUPE PEI


Labour Day Celebrations in PEI

On September 4th, join your local union leaders for our annual Labour Day event! Expect a BBQ and great music for family and friends.

Time: 11am to 1 pm
Location: Joseph A. Ghiz Memorial Park, Charlottetown

Carl Pursey, President of the PEI Federation of Labour, will be present along with many CUPE members.

For more information, contact:
Serge Landry, Regional Representative – New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
506-858-9350 (office) 506-871-8496 (cell)

Notice to municipal workers (CUPE 1505) from Fort McMurray

On Monday May 23, 2016, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo sent out an intent to return to work form to be filled out by all employees with a mandatory form return date of May 27.

The contents of this form have in no way been endorsed by CUPE nor does CUPE condone the form’s intent. CUPE Local 1505 has been asking numerous questions about this form, but the employer is being very selective and evasive in answering these questions.

At this time CUPE is advising all members to refer to the re-entry guidelines put out by the Province and the RMWB specifically page 2  outlining those who should not be returning to the area prior to the hospital being re-opened. If you suffer from any physical or mental health issues that prevent you from returning to Fort McMurray or are currently undergoing treatment we encourage you to obtain a medical certificate from a physician.

Below is a link to a form, developed by CUPE, that you can fill out if you are unable to return to work immediately for any reason and requesting a meeting with Union representation to discuss options with the employer.

If you have any further questions or concerns please email

Click here for the form

April 28 – Day of Mourning

CHARLOTTETOWN: On April 28, many flag raising ceremonies will be held on the Island to remember the workers killed or injured on the job.

“Every April 28th, citizens across the country and around the globe gather to remember workers that were killed or injured at work. On average, in Canada, a worker dies every eight hours,” said Jason Woodbury, CUPE PEI and CUPE National Health and Safety Committee Representative.

It was CUPE’s National Health and Safety Committee who in 1984, first proposed the idea of a day to remember workers injured or killed on the job. Soon after, CUPE, national, provincial and local levels, along with the Canadian Labour Congress, began to recognize April 28th as the Day of Mourning.

“Each year on this day, we take the time to raise awareness about workers safety and encourage employers across the province to establish practices that ensure their workers return to their families at the end of each shift,” concluded Woodbury.

“On April 28th, we are inviting all Islanders to take time to remember workers killed or injured on the job, either by participating in the Day of Mourning Ceremony organized by the PEI Federation of labour at Confederation Center of the Arts, or in a flag raising ceremony  organized by CUPE” added Woodbury.

 Flags raising ceremonies are:

City Hall, Summerside at 9:30 a.m.

City Hall, Charlottetown at 11:30 a.m.

Province House, Charlottetown at 12:00 p.m.

Memorial Hall at 7:00 p.m., organized by the Federation of Labour

Forum on TPP

This April 27th, come and join us to discuss what impacts will the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal) have on PEI. What will happen to our agricultural sector, our fishing industry, our environment, our jobs? This is the Trade Deal you heard so much about during the last Federal Election. TPP-April-27th png