Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

May 01, 2008 17:23 ET

Canadian Labour Congress: "Outrageous and Shocking!" Says Georgetti on Census Numbers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2008) - "Over the last 25 years, the people we elected have let the greedy set the agenda. It is so outrageous how the people who already have the most have designed the economy for their own benefit. Excluding the rest of us, who actually own the country and make it work," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress at the sight of the census numbers on workers and earnings released by Statistics Canada.

"What has happened over the last 25 years? Bad trade deals, minimum wage rates frozen below poverty lines, repeated legislative assaults on unionization, tax breaks for the rich, all these measures have made Canadians who work for wages poorer," explains Georgetti.

"These numbers are especially shocking because they are from the Census, not independent analyses from smaller samples," Georgetti says. According to the Statistics Canada's new 2006 Census report "Earnings and Incomes of Canadians over the Past Quarter Century," released today:

- between 1980 and 2005 the 20% top income earners increased their gains by 16.4% while the wages of the bottom 20% lost 20.6% of their purchasing power;

- between 1980 and 2005 the median earning of a Canadian worker only moved by a miserly $53.00;

- in 2005 the average women worker under 29 years old earned 85% of what her male counterparts were getting. Women over 45 years old were only getting 72% of what men were earning.

- Earnings of new immigrants in Canada (fewer than six years) that amounted to 77% born-Canadian earners have crashed to 48% of what Canadian earners received by 2005.

"These numbers explain why over the last two decades Canadians have lost faith in government and business. As prices for gas, food and other essentials are rising, these numbers remind us that more than ever Canadians need the leadership that strong unions provide," concludes Georgetti.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 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. Web site:

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