The Winnipeg Labour Council is continuing the long tradition behind Labour Day with a parade and picnic on Monday.

About 200 members of more than 20 different unions walked from Memorial Park west along Portage Avenue to Vimy Ridge Park for the afternoon picnic, which celebrates the city's organized labour movement.

"Very excited. It's a nice jovial mood today with beautiful weather," said labour council president Dave Sauer.

"It's a great day to celebrate the contributions of unions and working people to Canadian society and that's why we're out here today."

Sauer said the organization is continuing a tradition that began 120 years ago on the streets of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg held the first Labour Day parade in Canada in 1894, following the federal government's proclamation of the law establishing the first Monday in September as a statutory holiday to recognize the contributions of workers to society, according to the council.

Sauer said it's a good thing that about one-third of Canada's workforce is unionized today.

"The amount of workers in the country who are unionized themselves is rather high, but we also have the uplifting factor," he said.

"When unions do well, other workers do well in Canadian society. So that's what we're out here to celebrate today … the contributions that we have had."