Building Communities | National Union of Public and General Employees

Building Communities

By Michael Berthelot

On our own from nine to nine,
Working the press till the ink runs dry.
Ragged and exhausted, no hope in sight,
Until together combined, one force, one fight.
Nine to nine to nine at most,
In 1872, Toronto united, and a new epoch to toast.
A long time ago, and a battle won,
But unbeknownst to most, a war just begun.

A modern-day twist on an old worker’s tale,
United together or doomed to fail.
The fight may seem new as new workers come,
But the old timers know what must be done.
It’s a community built up over the years,
On the back of the workhorse; blood, sweat and tears.
And it continues to strengthen, each battle hard fought,
And each new generation, new friendships are wrought.

For together we come for that common cause,
People of all backgrounds, anywhere else might pause.
It’s a lesson we learn when action is needed,
Under no circumstances, or employer conceded,
That an individual can stand with a callused hand,
Overworked and underpaid,
But it takes a community, a solid unity,
To come to the table and make a trade. 


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE


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