Labour Rights

For many different people and for many different reasons, unions matter. But their key role—why they grew in the first place—is to help right the tremendous power imbalance the rich enjoy over the rest of us.

Our employers wield this power over our day-to-day, even minute-to-minute lives. They determine how much money we have, where we live, how we spend the bulk of our waking hours, and how much satisfaction we’re able to take from our labour.

The nation-builders of the 20th Century understood how dangerously imbalanced employers’ power could become and how unstable it could make the whole country—pushing up income inequality and along with it, crime, illness, and poverty.

So they enshrined in law our fundamental right to bargain collectively through democratic unions. Like every other human right, our labour rights give us the power to keep Canada on the path towards fairness, equality, and prosperity.

As our Labour Rights are violated, income inequality grows

But also like every other human right, our labour rights can be violated. Over the past 30 years, they have been violated often. Of the nearly 220 pieces of labour legislation passed federally and provincially in Canada since 1982, 212 have violated our labour rights by imposing contracts, outlawing strikes, and even restricting our ability to form a union.

Every time they our labour rights are violated, the power imbalance ticks back a little  towards the employers, towards the rich. And with each tick, income inequality grows. According to research by by a group of UBC Professors in 2012, 15% of the increase in income inequality can be directly attributable to steady violations of our labour rights.

 

LR

For many different people and for many different reasons, unions matter. But their key role—why they grew in the first place—is to help right the tremendous power imbalance the rich enjoy over the rest of us.

Our employers wield this power over our day-to-day, even minute-to-minute lives. They determine how much money we have, where we live, how we spend the bulk of our waking hours, and how much satisfaction we’re able to take from our labour.

Conservatives spend $525 million to create jobs outside Canada

The Conservative government is providing Volkswagen AG with $525 million in financing to expand factories in Mexico and the Southern United States. The money is being provided by Export Development Canada. No conditions are attached to the financing.

In exchange for giving Volkswagen $525 million to create jobs nowhere near Canada, what do Canadians get? Not a guarantee of work. Instead, all Canadian companies get is a “real chance to be considered” for contracts to supply parts.

Support for reducing income inequality comes from unlikely source

For decades, the gap between the wealthy and the middle- and low-income earners has been growing. The gap in assets between the richest 1% and the rest of us has become even worse since the economic collapse in 2008. Many studies have been done to consider why income inequality continues to grow, but now an unlikely organization has looked at the issue with a new focus.

IMF links growing inequality to decline in unions

The TD bank heads in the right direction, income inequality hurts our economy

A new report from the TD Bank reinforces the All Together Now! campaign message: income inequality hurts our economy. 

In its new report, 

 

it's not the first time TD Bank has come out with support for reducing income inequality. child care. 

 

He also acknowledges that "right-to-work" states in the U.S. are driving down wages, ones that used to be middle-income jobs have now slipped down while knowledge jobs continue to be paid a higher rate. Canadian employers feel pressure to follow suit. 

 

"Businesses just want to increase their profits; it's up to the government to make sure they distribute enough of those profits so workers have the money to buy the goods they produce. It's no mystery — the less poverty, the more commerce."

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