Canadians Are Better Off in Unions, CLC President says

August 21, 2012

News

Every Canadian must first appreciate and then also share in the broad range of advantages that unions create for organized workers and their families, Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti says.

“Canadians shouldn’t fear unions, but should aspire to a union job,” Georgetti told CAW convention delegates.

He outlined several key facts supporting the union advantage:

  • unionized workers make $5.11 per hour more on average than non-union workers;
  • unionized women make $8 per hour more an hour on average than non-unionized women;
  • and unionized workers taken together across Canada earn $793 million more every week than if they weren’t unionized. This is money which is spent in local communities supporting small businesses and community development and in general a stronger middle class.

Georgetti urged convention delegates to work hard in spreading the good news about the union advantage. He stressed that the union advantage message is more important than ever given the Harper Conservatives, right-wing provincial governments and corporate CEOs’ aggressive anti-union and anti-worker agendas.

He blasted the Harper Conservatives for interfering in Air Canada and Canada Post bargaining and also for walking away from CAW members at Caterpillar in London, when those good jobs were unfairly shipped to the United States. He also slammed Harper for attempting to drive down wages, increasing the retirement age and for slashing public sector jobs, among many other attacks on workers.

Georgetti applauded the CAW and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union (CEP) for exploring the possibility of joining together to create Canada’s largest private sector union.

“It’s exciting, it’s ambitious and it’s complicated for sure,” said Georgetti. He praised the leadership of the two unions for the vision of the need for a larger, more powerful and far reaching new union. He said this new union is the right thing to do and the best way to take on an emboldened right wing and corporations like Caterpillar.

The CLC represents 3.3 million workers in Canada. For a complete analysis of the union advantage, visit the CLC website: http://www.canadianlabour.ca/action-center/union-advantage

 

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