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Hundreds take part in Labour Day march

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Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press

Union members walk along Memorial Boulevard and Portage Avenue towards Vimy Ridge Park during the annual Labour Day March.

Manitoba’s history of a strong and determined workforce took to the streets of Winnipeg this afternoon.

Approximately 200 people, many of them union members, took part in the annual Labour Day march to celebrate the workingman and workingwoman. The march, now in its 120th year in Winnipeg, left Memorial Park at 1 p.m. and made its way west down Portage Avenue over to Vimy Ridge Park for a family picnic later this afternoon.

Representatives from several unions -- CUPE, MGEU, UFCW and the Amalgamated Transit Union -- took part in the walk.

David Sauer, president of the Winnipeg Labour Council, said while things can always be better for the worker in this province, the spirit of the Manitoba labourer remains strong.

"We’re fortunate here in Manitoba, we have a very high union density rate at around 36 per cent," Sauer said. "If you count Quebec, which is the highest, we’re the fourth-highest in Canada (only Newfoundland and Saskatchewan have higher union densities than Manitoba).

"The history of the workforce, the General Strike in 1919, is still being built on to this day. We’re always concerned about the direction things are going in terms of the labour movement, but we’re optimistic for the future."

The picnic at Vimy Ridge Park is expected to wrap up later this afternoon.

History

Updated on Monday, September 1, 2014 at 2:44 PM CDT: Adds photo

3:03 PM: Adds slideshow

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