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May Day Message

Read CUPE Local 79 President Tim Maguire’s 2015 May Day message.  On the morning of May 1st,  Local 79  attended a rally supporting USW members who have been on strike against Crown Holdings for two years (pictured above).


Every workplace right we have represents a major accomplishment of the labour movement. In that spirit, we celebrate May Day. In North America we observe Labour Day in the fall, but in most of the world, May Day is known as International Workers’ Day. It is a time when union members and our allies celebrate victories won by the labour movement, mourn brothers and sisters who have been killed on the job, and show our solidarity for the battles we continue to fight.

May Day is held on May 1st every year in commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre. In Chicago, 1886, workers peacefully rallied to support an eight-hour work day and to mourn the killing of several workers by police. The peace was shattered when shots were fired and a bomb exploded. Four civilians and seven police officers were killed and scores of people were wounded.

Every year, Toronto falls deeper into the worldwide trend of growing income inequality. Good jobs are harder and harder to find and what once used to be considered good jobs are increasingly precarious, with lower wages and less security. The labour movement – including Local 79 – has a central role to play in pushing back against inequality to promote fairness and an inclusive city. These are our issues.

In fact, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a study today showing that union membership is key to upward mobility and protection from economic declines. As union membership falls away, so do workers’ incomes. A growing labour movement, with strong solidarity, is the foundation for protecting and increasing our quality of life.

In an expression of solidarity, members of CUPE Local 79 joined in a rally this morning to support USW members who have been on strike against Crown Holdings for two years. Even though the Crown Holdings plant was the most productive in North America, Crown wanted more. They demanded all new hires receive 42% less than existing workers. USW members rejected this blatant attempt to sow division within the union. They refused to condemn the next generation of workers to lower wages just so Crown could squeeze a bit more profit out of the union. In response, Crown brought in replacement workers and replaced the two-tiered proposal with an across-the-board reduction of one-third.

This is how income inequality happens.

So this is where Local 79 stands with the broader labour movement in the fight for better working conditions for all of us. If you weren’t able to take part in the rally today, please visit to send a message of support to USW Local 9176 and to send a message to Premier Wynne.

In Solidarity,

Tim Maguire


Shall replenish. Tree doesn’t face. There which creepeth multiply fish unto of Seed. Behold made two Rule divided. Fruit form.

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