World Day for Decent Work: Workers’ contributions should be rewarded appropriately

October 7, 2023

Canada’s unions mark World Day for Decent Work by calling on the governments to invest in creating better jobs.

Too many workers are currently underpaid, leaving them struggling to make ends meet. This especially impacts sectors that are predominantly staffed by women and racialized workers, like the care sector.

These workers’ contributions have an immense impact on our society and our economy and, like all workers, should be rewarded appropriately.

“We have heard countless stories about the low wages and disrespect care workers face”, says Siobhán Vipond, Vice-President of the CLC. “These worrying stories are being echoed from workers in other sectors too, as the affordability crisis deepens. We must confront this crisis now by making sure all workers earn a livable wage.”

Despite six provinces raising their minimum wage just last week, not one province or territory has a minimum wage that matches the income necessary to make ends meet. At a time when inflation is at an all-time high and soaring corporate profits are driving up the cost of unavoidable necessities like food and shelter, workers need decent jobs that pay a livable wage.

Canada’s unions celebrate the workers on the front lines of this fight. When faced with wages that don’t keep up with inflation and employers who are unwilling to do something about it, workers are using their collective power to demand better from their employers. This year saw significant wins from PSAC workers in the federal government and United Steelworkers at National Steel Car in Hamilton.

“Workers are saying enough is enough and using their power to strike for better wages. Union wins will mean better conditions for all workers, just like the statutory holiday many workers are enjoying this weekend,” says Bea Bruske, President of the CLC. “The wins gained in unionized workplaces often set trends that become the standard across the working world.”

“We need governments that will stand with working people, not the wealthy CEOs who suppress wages and make record profits off the efforts of their employees. It’s these corporate profiteers, not workers, who are the source of the current crisis. They must be made to pay their fair share.” Read the ITUC’s statement on the 2023 World Day for Decent Work.

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