With a barbeque, Krazy Kids Party Planning face painting, bouncy castle and musical entertainment courtesy of local Celtic band Desperate for Haggis, union supporters gathered at 1402 Caribou St. W. on Monday to celebrate the labour movement, as well as the 20th anniversary of Moose Jaw Union Centre.
Stacey Landin, treasurer for the union centre and president of Moose Jaw & District Labour Council, spoke with the Times-Herald at the Labour Day event about the history of the local building, as well as what role unions actually perform in a community:
Times-Herald: How did Moose Jaw Union Centre come to be?
Landin: “The union centre used to be located at the corner of Second Avenue Northeast an Manitoba Street, where Providence Place currently is. The Sisters of Providence made a purchase of that property, so this location was then selected out of several options (to be the new union centre)…. And so 20 years ago in March, we opened this building.”
Times-Herald: What does a union centre do?
Landin: “We have offices for some of the union locals here. We also have two halls that we rent out for union functions and for functions that union members have that are personal.”
Times-Herald: How many unions are part of this place?
Landin: “That have offices here, there are seven. Lots of others use it just for their meeting purposes. Probably about 18-20 unions would use this place on a regular basis.”
Times-Herald: What exactly is a union, and what does it do?
Landin: “A union represents its members. A majority of (employees) would decide to be represented by a union, and it would negotiate for them wages, benefits and working conditions.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.