Marty Warren Statement on Equal Pay Day

Ontario women still take home, on average, 31.5% less each year than what men earn. For women in the Atlantic, they get between 15%-34% less. We call that shortfall “the gender wage gap”. And it’s even greater if you are a racialized woman (over 35%) or an Aboriginal woman (over 40%).

The gender wage gap has been with us a long time! Even now, when Canadian women are as well or more educated than men, it persists. Because women are more likely to work in low-paid, insecure jobs. Because women’s work is undervalued.

April 11 is Equal Pay Day because it takes one full year PLUS another 3.5 months for Canadian women to earn as much as men earn in just twelve months alone. In other words, Canadian women had to work all of 2016 AND up to April 11, 2017 just to earn as much as the average male worker did in the twelve months of 2016.

Wear red on April 11!

To show how far women, and especially racialized and Aboriginal women, are “in the red” with their paycheques, wear red on Equal Pay Day.

And what else can we do?

To close the gender wage gap, USW can:

  • Organize new members
  • Pressure governments to pass or strengthen pay-equity laws, laws that provide leaves of absence for family care-givers and domestic-violence victims, and laws that make it easier to organize unions
  • Demand quality, affordable, public childcare, with living wages for childcare workers
  • Treat the gender wage gap as a human rights issue
  • At the bargaining table, push for transparent pay, hiring and promotion practices to close the gender wage gap and open up higher-paid classifications to women
  • Ensure job evaluation accurately reflects women’s work
  • Strengthen women’s voices in our union, in organizing, bargaining, job evaluation and in leadership positions

Please attend a rally or other pay-equity event taking place in your community. See “Upcoming Events” on the District 6 web page for details of activities organized by USW locals and allies.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
USW District 6 Director

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