Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

August 27, 2014 07:00 ET

Union Wages Benefit Peterborough

CLC report says belonging to a union benefits workers, communities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 27, 2014) - Researchers at the Canadian Labour Congress have found that on average unionized workers in Peterborough earn $10.46 an hour more than do non-union workers and CLC president Hassan Yussuff says that benefits everyone. "The extra earnings by unionized employees translate into an added $5.67 million every week paid into the local community."

CLC researchers surveyed wages in 76 Canadian metropolitan and other census areas. They discovered that in Ontario unionized workers earn an average of $6.42 an hour more than their non-union counterparts, which puts an extra $366.22 million a week into the provincial economy. "We are proud of the contributions our members have made to build a stronger middle class and a more secure economy for everyone who lives here," says Yussuff.

The CLC researchers also found that centres with more union members support a richer mix of businesses and services. "Union members spend their pay cheques close to home and that helps local businesses, Yussuff says. "We bolster the tax base which also supports public works, community services and charities."

Most Canadians, Yussuff says, believe that unions have a positive role to play in society. "People do want unions to advocate for minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, parental leaves, vacation pay and protection from discrimination and harassment. Many benefits first gained at the bargaining table are now enjoyed by all workers, whether or not they belong to a union."

But Yussuff says labour advocacy goes beyond strictly workplace issues. "We push elected officials at all levels to provide a broad range of family-supporting public programs and services. For example, every Canadian should have a decent pension to retire on and that's why we are working to convince governments to improve Canada Pension Plan benefits. We do this in the interest of creating fairness and when we succeed we raise the bar for everyone."

Yussuff adds that being in a union is especially important for women and younger workers. In Ontario, women who belong to a union earn an average of $7.83 an hour more than do women in non-unionized workplaces. Young workers in the province aged 15 to 29 earn an additional $2.69 an hour if they belong to a union.

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 111 district labour councils. Follow us on Twitter @CanadianLabour.

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