Ken Neumann Statement for Equal Pay Day 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic results in job loss and economic slow-down, let’s not forget the on-going economic hardship faced by Canadian women. In this country, women workers still take home, on average, 32% less each year than what men earn. And that shortfall is even greater for racialized and newcomer women (40%), Indigenous women (45%), and women living with disabilities (over 55%).

April 4 is Equal Pay Day because it took all of 2019 and the first three months of 2020 for the average Canadian woman to earn as much as the average man earned in the twelve months of 2019. This means women work an extra three months for the same amount of money that it takes men only a year to earn.

USW is pressuring governments at all levels to put in place programs that give all workers economic security. To close the gender wage gap, governments should: 

  • Improve the Employment Insurance program so that women don’t lose eligibility for maternity and parental leave benefits because of COVID-19 layoffs
  • Pass or strengthen pay-equity laws, laws that provide leaves of absence for family care-givers and for the targets of domestic violence and laws that make it easier to organize unions
  • Demand quality, affordable, public childcare, with living wages for childcare workers
  • Increase the minimum wage, because many women work one or more minimum wage jobs to survive 

Let’s make our society better by removing barriers to full economic equality for women.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director

Bargaining Guide for Closing the Gender Wage Gap

COVID-19 Crisis Response Must Address Gender Faultlines


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