Hamilton Labour Council
The Canadian Labour Congress has released a study showing that on average unionized workers in Canada earn $5.11 an hour more than do non-union workers. “That extra money in the pockets of individual workers means the union advantage is worth a cumulative $793 million per week added to our economy,” says CLC president Ken Georgetti.
The study, called The Union Advantage in Canadian Communities, shows the benefits that workers with unions bring to Canada as a whole, as well as 29 selected communities across the country. “Unions make a positive difference in the incomes and the quality of life of their members,” Georgetti says, “but beyond that they support a healthy middle class in Canadian society.”
Georgetti says that cities and towns with more union members enjoy higher incomes overall and support a richer mix of businesses and services. “These services benefit everyone in the community. In short, they are better places to work and live.”
He says that the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have confirmed that broadly-based collective bargaining is the best mechanism to build a healthy middle class. “When workers, through their unions, are able to bargain freely for decent wages, benefits and pensions, there are benefits for the middle class and for society as a whole. Unionized workers spend most or all of their pay cheques in businesses in their local community. We believe that decent wages and decent pensions enrich the community and the country.”
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils.
See the CLC website for a copy of The Union Advantage study: http://www.canadianlabour.ca/action-center/union-advantage.
Follow the CLC on Twitter @CanadianLabour.
Contact: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: 613-526-7431