The Union Advantage in Canadian Communities
Union jobs benefit everyone
Having a union on your side makes your job and your workplace safer and fairer.
Your employer pays you better and is more likely to provide benefits that help you balance work with life at home. Your health and ability to do your job become important, and your right to fair treatment gets enforced. Unions make a difference both at work and in the quality of life you earn. We call that difference the union advantage.
The Canadian Labour Congress is releasing this study to show just how much better the union advantage truly is – both nationally and in 29 communities across the country. This study shows that on average in Canada, unionized workers earn $5.11 more an hour than non-union workers.
That means the union advantage is worth a cumulative $793 million more each week to our country – money spent in our communities and our economy.
But this advantage doesn’t just belong to union members. It benefits everyone. Workers in unions are an important part of the local community and economy because that’s where they spend their paychecks. Their incomes support local businesses (who create more local jobs) and bolster the local tax base, which supports public works and community services that add to everyone’s quality of life.
The benefits enjoyed by unionized workers – dental insurance, extended health care coverage and legal insurance, to name a few – attract and support local dentists, chiropractors, therapists, health specialists, and family lawyers whose services benefit everyone in the community.
When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone. Many of the benefits first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today, including maternity leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassement.
Communities with more union members enjoy relatively higher incomes overall, and support a richer mix of businesses and services that diversify the local economy and add to the overall quality of life. They are better places to work and live. This booklet shows the benefits that workers with unions bring to Canada as a whole as well as 29 communities across the country.