Labour groups call for paid sick leave, better wages at Kitchener May Day rally

Labour groups and their allies gathered in downtown Kitchener Sunday to mark May Day.

The annual event, part of the international labour movement, celebrates workers and calls for improved conditions.

This year’s local rally had a particular focus on the upcoming provincial election.

Organizers say paid sick leave, better wages and addressing the wage gap need to be policy priorities during the campaign.

Across multiple sectors, they’re calling on the political parties to take action to support workers who fuel the province’s economy.

“Really when it comes down to it, we are the economy, we are the job creators,” said Lorne Bruce, president of the Waterloo Regional Labour Council. “So when folks, when workers, are suffering, the economy suffers and that couldn't have been more evident than during the pandemic when we had the shutdown.”

Organizers say stability and support for workers in the long-term care, healthcare and education sectors should be prominent election priorities.