Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

August 21, 2013 08:00 ET

Vancouver Benefits from Union Wages

CLC report says union membership benefits workers, communities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 21, 2013) - Researchers at the Canadian Labour Congress have found that on average unionized workers in Vancouver earn $4.37 an hour more than do non-union workers and that benefits the entire community, says CLC President Ken Georgetti.

"That extra money in the pockets of unionized employees translates into an added $48 million every week paid into the local economy," says Georgetti. "We know that unionized workers who earn a middle class, family-supporting wage spend their pay cheques close to home and that supports local businesses and the community."

CLC researchers surveyed wages in 30 Canadian communities and found that centres with more union members support a richer mix of businesses and services. "But it doesn't end there," says Georgetti. "Many of the things first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today, including minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, vacation pay and parental leaves."

Georgetti says that unions also advocate at local, provincial and federal government levels for things such as public health care and an improved Canada Pension Plan. "We believe in the old saying that what we want for ourselves we seek for all."

Georgetti adds that being in a union is especially important for women and younger workers. In B.C., women who belong to unions earn an average of $6.91 an hour more than do women in non-unionized workplaces. In Canada as a whole, young workers aged 15 to 29 earn an additional $5.53 an hour if they belong to unions.

"We in the labour movement take satisfaction in knowing that we have helped to build a stronger and more secure economy for everyone in Vancouver and all of B.C.," says Georgetti. "When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone."

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.

Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca

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