Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

October 23, 2005 08:59 ET

Justice delayed is justice denied

Canadian labour says the time for pay equity legislation is now Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 23, 2005) - The Canadian Labour Congress rejects the federal government's claim that it needs more time to study and consult before introducing effective pay equity legislation.

"How many times do working women have to repeat themselves? What is it about paying women equally for their work and for the time they spend away from their families that these guys don't get?" asks Barbara Byers, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Right now about 40 per cent of the country's workforce are covered by pay equity legislation, through laws in force in both Ontario and Quebec. But recognizing the right of women to equal pay in the federal jurisdiction keeps getting stalled.

In a written letter to the Chair of the House of Commons own Standing Committee on the Status of Women, the Ministers responsible for making pay equity a reality claim the language used in the report from the Pay Equity Task Force is too complex. It's an excuse that Byers says is laughable.

"Apparently words like 'establishment' are a high hurdle for some of the lawyers over in the Justice Department and "the obligations of employers and unions" has folks in the Labour Department mystified. If you believe that, you're invited to come surf the big waves on the South Saskatchewan," says Byers.

The House of Commons Committee called for legislation to be introduced by the end of October, based on the recommendations of the government's Pay Equity Task Force - itself an exhaustive consultation.

Byers says the recommendations of the Task Force are clear enough. They represent what women want and are the least that any working citizen should expect from their government - respect for their rights as human beings.

"Ministers need to keep their promises and deliver pay equity legislation now. We've had the consultations, and the studies, and even hearings by a parliamentary committee. What more do they need?" asks Byers.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7425
    Secondary Phone: 613-863-1413