Canadian Social Research Links

Unions

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Les syndicats


Updated October 7, 2016
Page révisée le 7 octobre 2016

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NOTE:
This page is NOT comprehensive, and it doesn't offer very much union website content --- that's because I tend to post union website content to the 'theme' pages on this site (e.g., Elections/Politics, Health, Women's Social Issues) rather than on this more general page. Click the home page link above to see the list of themes.

* Below, you'll find links to selected unions' home pages, where you can explore content to your heart's content.
* Click the link immediately below to jump directly down on the page you're now reading for a selection of union-related content that didn't quite fit any of the theme pages on this site.



Selected union-related news, articles
<=== UPDATED TO OCTOBER 7, 2016

- this link takes you further down on the page you're now reading, just past the section below containing links to Canada's major unions.

---

What have unions ever done for us? (video, duration 2:08)
http://youtu.be/184NTV2CE_c
(Quite a bit, as it turns out...)
[Hint : Higher wages, better benefits, pensions, health and safety, medical coverage, equal rights on the job, paid vacations, the abolition of child labour, whistle blower protection, etc.]



Unifor
Unifor is the Canadian union launched in August 2013, comprising the (former) Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union and the Canadian Auto Workers Union.

Unifor is a new kind of union, one that advocates on behalf of all working people (employed or unemployed) right across the country. As Canada’s largest private sector union with more than 300,000 members in every major sector of the economy, Unifor is committed to creating a strong and effective union – making positive change in communities and workplaces across the country.
[ Excerpt from "Why Unifor?" : http://unifor.org/en/why-unifor ]

---

Rhetoric and Reality : Evaluating Canada’s
Economic Record Under the Harper Government
(PDF - 5.5MB, 66 pages)
http://www.unifor.org/sites/default/files/documents/document/909-harper_economic_critique_eng_0.pdf
July 30, 2015
With Canada possibly slipping into another recession, a new comprehensive review of the economic record of Stephen Harper's Conservative government paints a damning portrait of nearly a decade of economic failure. Authored by Unifor Economists Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan, this report tracks the performance of nine federal governments from 1946 through 2014.
(...) The performance of the economy under each Prime Minister is compared on the basis of 16 conventional and commonly-used indicators of economic progress and
well-being.
(...)
These indicators are all measured using annual data from 1946 through 2014, obtained from Statistics Canada and other public sources; a full statistical appendix lists all statistical sources and details.

Source:
Unifor
http://www.unifor.org/
As Canada’s largest private sector union with more than 300,000 members in every major sector of the economy, Unifor is committed to creating a strong and effective union – making positive change in communities and workplaces across the country.

------------------------------------------

Subscribe to the Unifor national newsletter
http://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/subscribe

Canadian Union of Public Employees
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada’s largest union. With more than half a million members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines. A strong and democratic union, CUPE is committed to improving the quality of life for workers in Canada. Women and men working together to form local unions built CUPE. They did so to have a stronger voice – a collective voice – in their workplace and in society as a whole.

---
A special thanks to CUPE for allowing me to piggyback the Canadian Social Research Newsletter onto their mailing list system (Mailman) - it makes my task of administering my mailing list and distributing the weekly issues of my newsletter quite a bit easier. I should mention that I don't share my newsletter mailing list with anyone, including CUPE, nor does CUPE impose any editorial control over my work or my views...
Gilles
---

News release
from CUPE:

Everyone benefits from collective bargaining
http://cupe.ca/bargaining/a51250c4b61966
February 20, 2013
Members of CUPE distributed a leaflet at subway stations surrounding Queen's Park on Tuesday, February 19, in advance of the Ontario Throne Speech.
The leaflet includes 15 reasons to support collective bargaining - 15 common workplace standards first negotiated, through collective bargaining, by unions like CUPE:
* Parental leave
* Statutory holidays
* Employment standards
* Health and safety regulations
* Right to refuse unsafe work
* 40-hour work week
* Paid vacation leave
* Bereavement leave
* Pay equity
* Same-sex benefits
* Minimum wage
* Pensions
* Anti-harassment protection
* Sick leave
* The weekend

National Union of Public and General Employees
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is a family of 15 component unions. Taken together we are the second largest union in Canada. Most of our 337,000 members work to deliver public services of every kind to the citizens of their home provinces. We also have a large and growing number of members who work for private businesses.

Public Service Alliance of Canada
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), is one of Canada's largest unions. The PSAC is truly a national union with members from coast to coast to coast, in every province and territory. We even have an international face with members working abroad in embassies and consulates. Our membership is diverse and growing. While many of our 150,000 members work for the federal government or agencies as immigration officers, fisheries officers, food inspectors, customs officers and the like, an increasing number of PSAC members work in the private sector in women’s shelters, universities, security agencies and casinos.

Confédération des syndicats nationaux
La Confédération des syndicats nationaux est une organisation syndicale nationale, démocratique et libre. Elle est formée de syndicats, de fédérations et de conseils centraux couvrant tout le territoire du Québec ,et elle entend lutter pour la création de structures sociales, économiques, politiques et culturelles qui garantissent l’épanouissement de l’ensemble des citoyennes et citoyens dans notre société. (...) La Confédération des syndicats nationaux compte plus de 2 600 syndicats locaux répartis sur l’ensemble du territoire québécois représentant environ 275 000 travailleuses et travailleurs appartenant à divers secteurs d’activité.

Canadian Teachers' Federation
As the national bilingual umbrella organization for teachers in this country, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) has 14 provincial and territorial Member organizations representing 213,000 teachers across Canada.
CTF is a powerful voice for the profession and provides much needed support to its Member organizations and teachers at a time when many governments have moved ahead with very regressive education agendas.

Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Our 54,000 members work in large and small communities from Twillingate, Newfoundland to Tappen, British Columbia. A majority of members work for Canada Post as rural and suburban mail carriers, letter carriers, mail service couriers, postal clerks, mail handlers, mail despatchers, technicians, mechanics, electricians and electronic technicians. But CUPW represents more than post office workers. We also represent cleaners, couriers, drivers, warehouse workers, mail house workers, emergency medical dispatchers, bicycle couriers and other workers in more than 15 private sector bargaining units.
CUPW’s national office is in Ottawa. The union has regional offices in Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, London, Winnipeg and Vancouver. There are CUPW locals with elected representatives in over 200 communities across the country.

United Steelworkers of America - Canada
Workers employed in the steel industry and in mining – two of the union’s traditional jurisdictions – total about 65,000, out of a total membership in Canada of 190,000. Steelworker members can be found in every sector of the economy – from factories to offices, to hospitals, university campuses, hotels, warehouses, bakeries, banks, transportation and communication workers and many more. More than 27 per cent of Steelworkers now are women, and there is a growing membership among visible minority workers.


Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation

BC Federation of Labour

BC Teachers Federation

Syndicats québécois (...et canadiens, et ailleurs dans le monde)

AFL-CIO (U.S.)

Global Unions
World Trade Union Movement’s Web Site
Global Unions is jointly owned and run by the international trade union movement. Global Unions is run by 14 trade union organisations – the ICFTU, the eleven International Trade Secretariats, the European Trade Union Confederation and the TUAC.

Selected union-related news, articles (in reverse chronological order)

Top 10 Union advantages
https://cupe.ca/top-10-union-advantages
October 3, 2016
After declining for many years, support for unions has rebounded since the financial crisis. A growing number of Canadians also say they’d like to join a union. These are some of the reasons why:
[Click the link above to access the full text for each of the 10 reasons.]

1. Higher wages.
2. Greater equality.
3. Pensions/benefits.
4. Job security and tenure.
5. Health and safety.
6. Predictable hours.
7. Training and education.
8. Transparency and equitable due process.
9. Workplace democracy.
10. Advocacy and political action.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

https://cupe.ca/

May 29, 2015
Unionization rates falling

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-630-x/11-630-x2015005-eng.htm
Canadian Megatrends
The Canadian trade union movement grew out of the industrialization of the economy at the end of the 19th Century. At that time, unions were predominately a male domain and remained so until the 1960s. Today, a union member is slightly more likely to be a woman, and working in an office, school or hospital, while factory workers, miners and other blue collar trades have seen their union membership fall over the past quarter century.

The decline in the unionization rate is not a recent phenomenon. In Canada, most of the decline took place in the 1980s and 1990s. Since Statistics Canada began measuring unionization through household surveys, the rate of unionization has fallen from 37.6% in 1981 to 28.8% in 2014. Trends differ by sex, however.

See also:

April 2005
Diverging trends in unionization
Perspectives on Labour and Income
, Vol. 6, no. 4
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/10405/7827-eng.htm
By René Morissette, Grant Schellenberg and Anick Johnson

March 21 - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
http://cupe.ca/march-21-international-day-elimination-racial-discrimination
Every year on March 21, Canadians from all walks of life commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. A bloody massacre took place on this day in 1960. In Sharpeville, South Africa, where police fatally shot 69 black demonstrators and wounded 180. These peaceful demonstrators were protesting discriminatory apartheid pass laws that imposed restrictions on black South Africans, including the ability to move around freely in the country and to organize unions. Almost all victims were shot in the back.

Canada has a long history of racist colonialism in its dealings with First Nations peoples, and its impacts are still being felt today several decades later.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees
http://cupe.ca/

From the
International Monetary Fund (IMF):
http://www.imf.org/

Power from the People
HTML version : http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2015/03/jaumotte.htm
PDF version (small PDF file, 3 pages) : http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2015/03/pdf/jaumotte.pdf
By Florence Jaumotte and Carolina Osorio Buitron
March 2015
The decline in unionization in recent decades has fed the rise in incomes at the top.
Inequality has risen in many advanced economies since the 1980s, largely because of the concentration of incomes at the top of the distribution. Measures of inequality have increased substantially, but the most striking development is the large and continuous increase in the share of total income garnered by the 10 percent of the population that earns the most—which is only partially captured by the more traditional measure of inequality, the Gini coefficient.

Source:
International Monetary Fund (IMF):

http://www.imf.org/
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

---

Related link
from PressProgress:

Rise of income inequality is linked to decline of unions: new IMF study
http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/rise-income-inequality-linked-decline-unions-new-imf-study
Unions have been given their due by the International Monetary Fund.
Income inequality rises when unionization declines, according to a new global analysis of advanced economies -- including Canada.
March 2, 2015

Source:
PressProgress
http://www.pressprogress.ca/
PressProgress advances progressive solutions and challenges conservative ideas with hard-hitting news and analysis. PressProgress is a project of the Broadbent Institute [ http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/ ].

---

Related link from the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Labour unions in the 21st century?
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/labour-unions-21st-century
By Jordan Brennan
September 1, 2014
Excerpt:
"The legitimacy of North American labour unions is being called into question. Surveying the continental scene, we find conservative politicians in multiple jurisdictions attacking union security. But as the most recent Ontario election results suggest, the Tim Hudak-style attack on organized labour can easily backfire. Here’s why: despite all the anti-union rhetoric these days, unions and collective bargaining are a crucial ingredient in in the formation and maintenance of a shared prosperity. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/labour-unions-21st-century"

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.

Economics for Everyone:
my favourite economics movies
http://economicsforeveryone.ca/files/uploads/Economics_Movies_0.pdf
By Jim Stanford
Economics can actually make for some great film-making: drama, inspiration, humour.
Check out this light-hearted list of movies that the Canadian union movement's perennial spokesperson Jimbo Stanford offers as good illustrations of basic economics principles.

Source:
Economics for Everyone (
Jim Stanford's blog)
http://economicsforeveryone.ca/

New from the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA):

The staying power of unions
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/essay-staying-power-unions
By Trish Hennessy
November 1, 2014
The spring air, typically redolent with a sense of hope and renewal, hung over Queen's Park in May 2014 like a menacing storm cloud ready to break into a twister. Two years of rancorous, scandal-ridden minority government had collapsed. Writ dropped, Ontarians faced a stark political reality: the prospect of a hard-right Progressive Conservative leader intent on declaring outright war on the province's labour movement.
(...)
No one ever handed unions an easy victory and no one likely ever will. Perhaps that is part of their staying power.
---
- includes a brief timeline of the evolution of the organized labour movement in Canada from the late 1800s to the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader's declaration of war on unions in the 2014 election in that province.
(...)
The challenges to collective action are constant and constantly changing. That's why unions are a great equalizer, a balancing act within capitalism, potentially even a game changer for something revolutionary. That is part of their tremendous staying power.

It's why unions matter.

[Author Trish Hennessy is the director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives–Ontario.]

Source:
The Monitor, November 2014
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/november-2014
[Click the link above to access six more articles.]

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
https://policyalternatives.ca

---

Also from the CCPA:

Less wage discrimination for women, aboriginals, and visible minorities in public sector, not higher salaries overall: study
https://policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/less-wage-discrimination-women-aboriginals-and-visible-minorities-public
October 29, 2014
OTTAWA—Women, aboriginal workers, and visible minority workers experience less wage discrimination in the public sector than in the private sector, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Narrowing the Gap:
The Difference That Public Sector Wages Make
(PDF - 730K, 30 pages)
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/10/Narrowing_the_Gap.pdf
By Kate McInturff and Paul Tulloch
This study compares the wages of full-time public and private sector workers and finds significant gaps in the wages of women, aboriginal workers, and visible minority workers—and that those gaps are bigger in the private sector in every instance.

Version française:
Refermer l’écart : La différence que font les salaires du secteur public
(PDF - 763Ko., 32 pages)
https://policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/refermer-l%E2%80%99%C3%A9cart

Table of contents:
* Introduction
* The Gender Gap
* The Education Gap
* The Discrimination Gap
* The Bottom Line
* Appendices
* Notes

More than just another long weekend: CUPE celebrates Labour Day
https://cupe.ca/more-just-another-long-weekend-cupe-celebrates-labour-day
September 1, 2014
For many, Labour Day marks the last weekend of summer. But we must still remember the original purpose when it was made an official holiday in 1894; as a time to reflect on the contributions made by working people through the labour movement to our communities and country.
(...)
This Labour Day, the 120th as an official holiday, we will celebrate all we’ve accomplished, and to commit our support to all workers, whose collective efforts make Canada the great country it is today.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees

https://cupe.ca/

The "research" the Fraser Institute produces is junk --- Have a Happy Labour Day!
http://albertadiary.ca/2014/08/the-research-the-fraser-institute-produces-is-junk-have-a-happy-labour-day.html
By David Climenhaga
August 29, 2014
(...)
While the conclusions of the Fraser Institute’s annual Labour Day attack [see the link below] on labour unions and the rights of working people to bargain collectively are predictably in tune with the market fundamentalist nostrums of the globalized corporations that bankroll its efforts, the group’s methodology appears to be shifting in an interesting way. The so-called “institute” released a paper yesterday that asserts the more heavily the labour relations field is tilted in favour of corporate employers, the more “balanced” it is – an absolute inversion of reality. This is no surprise because, no matter what the subject, Fraser Institute “research” always lines up precisely with the agenda of its corporate financiers.

Source:
Alberta Diary
http://albertadiary.ca/

---

From the
Fraser Institute:

Labour Relations Laws in Canada and the United States:
An Empirical Comparison (2014 Edition)

August 28, 2014
Abstract : http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/display.aspx?id=21716
Complete report (PDF - 2.8MB, 70 pages) : http://goo.gl/DrhEBz

News release:
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=217167
August 28, 2014
Canada's labour relations laws restrict worker choice, discourage investment and job growth

Source:
Fraser Institute

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/

United States

Inequality and the Case for Unions
https://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/06/22-2
By Tim Koechlin
June 22, 2014
Across the country, Republican legislatures – encouraged and financed, as usual, by corporate money and right wing think tanks-- have undertaken a stunning array of initiatives designed to weaken unions and otherwise undermine American workers. (...) Republicans tell a tired, cynical story about all of this, insisting that union busting is, somehow, good for the economy and good for workers. It’s the same old trickle down nonsense. Democrats, on the other hand, have done too little to defend unions and worker rights.
(...)
In 1973, 27% of US workers were unionized. Now, it’s just 13% -- the lowest rate among the world’s rich (“industrialized”) countries. It is no coincidence that the U.S. is, by every reasonable measure, the most unequal of the world’s rich countries.
(...)
Relentlessly, we need to ask our representatives – especially fearful, cautious, and misguided Democrats: Which side are you on?
Unions are good for workers.
It’s that simple.

Source:
Common Dreams
https://www.commondreams.org/
Common Dreams is a non-profit independent newscenter created in 1997 as a new media model. By relying on our readers and tens of thousands of small donations to keep us moving forward -- with no advertising, corporate underwriting or government funding -- Common Dreams maintains an editorial independence our readers can count on.

Six charts that show why Alberta is the "most unequal province in Canada"
http://www.pressprogress.ca/en/post/6-charts-show-why-alberta-most-unequal-province-canada
May 21, 2014
If you want to know why "Alberta is now by far the most unequal province in Canada," a report* released Wednesday by the Parkland Institute sums it up.

"Due to exceptional increases in income for the richest 1% of Albertans, while the incomes of the rest of the population have virtually stagnated, Alberta is now the most unequal province in the country," the report concludes. "These changes coincided and are closely associated with the declining strength of unions in the province."

Click the link above for six charts that show what's going on in Alberta, and the relationship between unions and growing inequality.

Source:
PressProgress

http://www.pressprogress.ca/

---

* The Parkland Institute report:

On the Job:
Why Unions Matter in Alberta
(PDF - 732K, 58 pages)
http://parklandinstitute.ca/research/summary/on_the_job
By David Campanella, Bob Barnetson and Angella MacEwen

Executive Summary
http://parklandinstitute.ca/research/summary/on_the_job

Media Release
http://parklandinstitute.ca/media/comments/unions_critical_to_well_being_of_all_albertans_new_study
May 21, 2014

---

- Go to the Alberta Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/abkmrk.htm

- Go to the Income and Wealth Inequality Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/inequality.htm

The Creation of a Shared Prosperity in Canada:
Unions, Corporations and Countervailing Power
(PDF - 920K, 36 pages)
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/04/the_creation_of_a_shared_prosperity_in_canada.pdf
By Jordan Brennan
April 17, 2014
This report documents how the growth of unions from the First World War to the mid 1970’s helped create a shared prosperity or “middle class” in Canada, which has been steadily shrinking with the rise of corporate power and the erosion of unions since the late 1970’s.

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Unions Matter : Advancing Democracy, Economic Equality and Social Justice
http://nupge.ca/content/11607/unions-matter-new-cflr-book-provides-powerful-tool-pushback-against-inequality
April 23, 2014
Unions Matter examines the critical role that unions and strong labour rights play in reducing income inequality and promoting the social well-being of all citizens.
– A new book by the Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights (CFLR) adds to the growing body of evidence showing how unions are essential for achieving equality, democracy, and justice in work and society in Canada.

Order the 176-page book ($26.95)
http://btlbooks.com/book/unions-matter

Source:
Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights (CFLR)

http://labourrights.ca/

New from the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Unions, Democracy and Equality
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/rand-formula
April 17, 2014
This CCPA series documents the critical role unions have played in reducing inequality and enhancing democracy in Canada, and examines the forces working to undermine union strength.

Reports

* Unions and Democracy by Christopher Schenk
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/unions-and-democracy
This report examines how unions have also had a positive influence in their communities, in society at large and on the quality of our democracy.

Understanding Union Security and its Effects
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/understanding-union-security-and-its-effects
This paper looks at how Conservative proposals, imported from the US, would threaten union security in Ontario by removing the Rand Formula requirement of mandatory dues payment, and allowing workers to opt out of the bargaining unit.

The Creation of a Shared Prosperity in Canada: Unions, Corporations and Countervailing Power
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/creation-shared-prosperity-canada
This report looks at the ways union renewal could play a crucial role in restoring the middle class in Canada

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/

The one chart that blows anti-union arguments out of the water
http://goo.gl/MwnNzM
January 15, 2014
"What have the unions ever done for us?" Well, they reduce poverty, for one. As part of its Rights at Work campaign [ http://goo.gl/UmnFfo ], Unifor pulled together the data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on some of the world's most developed countries to compare the impact of unionization on a country's poverty rate.

Surprise! The lower the unionization rate, the higher the poverty rate.

Source:
PressProgress
http://www.pressprogress.ca/

Related links:

Unifor
http://www.unifor.org/
Unifor is the Canadian union launched in August 2013, comprising the (former) Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union and the Canadian Auto Workers Union.

---

What have unions ever done for us? (video, duration 2:08)
http://youtu.be/184NTV2CE_c
(Quite a bit, as it turns out...)
[Hint : Higher wages, better benefits, pensions, health and safety, medical coverage, equal rights on the job, paid vacations, the abolition of child labour, whistle blower protection, etc.]

Canada needs unions in order to prosper: Hugh Segal
http://www.unifor.org/en/whats-new/news/canada-needs-unions-order-prosper-hugh-segal
December
7, 2013
Active unions and free collective bargaining are essential to building a prosperous Canada and a stable middle class, Conservative Senator Hugh Segal told Unifor's Ontario Regional Council this morning, downtown Toronto.
"My Canada is one where trade unions and free collective bargaining make Canada a better place to live," Segal said in an unconventional address by a high-profile Conservative to a union gathering. Earlier this year, Segal led Senate efforts to amend the Harper government's anti-union Bill 377.

Source:
Unifor

http://www.unifor.org/
Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 300,000 members across the country, working in every major sector of the Canadian economy. Unifor was officially formed on August 31, 2013, at a Founding Convention in Toronto, Ontario. It marked the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) – two of Canada’s largest and most influential labour unions.

---

Hugh Segal, Tory senator, to retire for Massey College job
3rd Conservative senator in a month to announce early departure
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/hugh-segal-tory-senator-to-retire-for-massey-college-job-1.2461832
By Laura Payton
CBC News
Dec 12, 2013
By Gilles : Senator Segal's retirement is sad news indeed for the Canadian social advocacy community.
Thanks for your contribution, Hugh.
Best wishes at Massey College..

Right to strike has no place in the public service
Public Record - The Great Canadian Debate (streaming video, duration 88 minutes)
http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/public-record/episodes/28650490/
November 26, 2013
Resolved: The right to strike has no place in the public service Tom Flanagan, Senior Fellow, The Fraser Institute and Jim Stanford, Unifor debate the resolution:"The right to strike has no place in the public sector."

Source:
Public Record
http://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/public-record/

The Public Record is an initiative of:
CPAC - the Cable Public Affairs Channel

http://www.cpac.ca/

From Statistics Canada:

November 26, 2013
Study: Long-term trends in unionization, 1981 to 2012

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/131126/dq131126e-eng.htm
Between 1981 and 2012, Canada's unionization rate — defined as the proportion of paid employees who are union members — declined from 38% to 30%. Most of the decline, however, took place in the 1980s and the 1990s. The unionization rate among men declined from 42% to 29% over the period. Men of all ages were affected by the decline, especially those aged 25 to 44. Among women, the unionization rate remained stable at around 30% over the period. However, this stability masked two offsetting trends: a decline among women aged less than 45, and an increase among those aged 45 to 64.

Available in CANSIM Tables 282-0220 to 282-0225
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a03?lang=eng&pattern=282-0220..282-0225&p2=31

Related subjects:

Labour
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2621&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Non-wage benefits
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2628&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Unionization and industrial relations
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/result-resultat.action?pid=2621&id=2636&lang=eng&type=DAILYART

Related link:

Understanding public–private sector differences in work absences
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2013001/article/11862-eng.htm
By Sharanjit Uppal and Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté
September 19, 2013
Absences from work can be expressed in terms of days lost per year, on the basis of Labour Force Survey data. In this In Brief, the new data on work absences for 2012 are introduced, and the differences between private and public sector employees’ absences are examined in more detail.
Source:
Insights on Canadian Society
http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=75-006-X&lang=eng
* Click "View" for the latest issue of Insights on Canadian Society.
* Click "Chronological index" for earlier editions of this publication.
Earlier editions covered topics such as:
--- Family caregiving: What are the consequences? (September 10, 2013)
--- What has changed for young people in Canada? (July 4, 2013)
--- The evolution of English-French bilingualism in Canada from 1961 to 2011 (May 28, 2013)
--- Living apart together (March 5, 2013)
And that perennial favourite:
--- How many years to retirement? (December 4, 2012)

Source:
The Daily

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/dai-quo/index-eng.htm
[Statistics Canada
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html ]

Most Highly Unionized Countries Top "Happiest Countries” List, Again. Why?
http://lawofwork.ca/?p=6881
By Dr. David Doorey
On September 9, 2013, the United Nation’s released its second annual “World Happiness Index”. One thing that is striking about these studies is that the ‘most happy countries’ are always countries with the a long tradition of strong government social welfare programs, high overall tax levels, and of interest to a blog on work law, high levels of collective bargaining coverage. That is, in happy countries, unions and collective bargaining play a substantial role in the setting of conditions of work, which creates a strong middle class. Not surprisingly, therefore, the ‘happiest’ countries also tend to be the least unequal societies: they score well on measures of income inequality. For example, the top 2 most happiest countries (Denmark, Norway) just happen to have the least income inequality in the Western World.

That’s interesting, from a labour policy perspective.

Source:
Law of Work

http://lawofwork.ca/
Personal website of Dr. David Doorey, an Associate Professor of Labour and Employment law at York University

Related links:

World Happiness Report 2013
http://unsdsn.org/happiness/

Source:
UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
"A Global Initiative for the United Nations"
http://unsdsn.org/

Related link:

Canada is one of the happiest countries in the world, study finds
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-is-one-of-the-happiest-countries-in-the-world-study-finds/article14183382/
By Tavia Grant
September 9, 2013
Canada is one of the happiest countries in the world, according to a global ranking of well-being that uses measures such as life expectancy and corruption to assess the progress of nations. Canada ranks sixth in the United Nations’ second world happiness report. That's down a notch from the last ranking – not because Canadians are any less happy, but because Switzerland leapfrogged into the top five. Denmark tops the list, followed by Norway.

87 comments about this article:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-is-one-of-the-happiest-countries-in-the-world-study-finds/article14183382/comments/

Source:
The Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

New from the
Progressive Economics Forum:

Unifor: Canada’s Newest Union
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/09/03/unifor-canadas-newest-union/
September 1, 2013
By Jim Stanford
I am still catching my breath from one of the wildest weeks in my life: all the events that culminated in the founding convention last weekend in Toronto of Unifor (formed from the combination of the CAW and the CEP). The new union will represent over 300,000 members working in over 20 different defined economic sectors.
- includes links to the Unifor website (see below), including an early discussion paper that lays out the rationale for a new union last year, the Unifor Constitution, policy papers, photos and videos, and selected media coverage. (...)

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

Unifor website
http://unifor.org/
Unifor is a new kind of union, one that advocates on behalf of all working people (employed or unemployed) right across the country. As Canada’s largest private sector union with more than 300,000 members in every major sector of the economy, Unifor is committed to creating a strong and effective union – making positive change in communities and workplaces across the country.
[Excerpt from "Why Unifor?" : http://unifor.org/en/why-unifor ]

The New Attack on Unions
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2013/09/03/the-new-attack-on-unions/
By Andrew Jackson
September 3, 2013

The latest issue of the York University e journal Just Labour is now available.
http://www.justlabour.yorku.ca/index.php?page=toc&volume=20

In addition to three articles on youth and labour, it includes my paper Up Against the Wall: the Political Economy of the New Attack on the Canadian Labour Movement (PDF - 36K, 13 pages) : http://www.justlabour.yorku.ca/volume20/pdfs/04_jackson_press.pdf ) and thoughtful responses from Sam Gindin, Ken Lewenza, Maya Bhullar and Patricia Chong.

The major issue raised in the comments is whether the new attack on labour can be successfully fought without fundamental changes to the existing labour movement, and there is a range of views on just how much change is needed.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum
http://www.progressive-economics.ca/

Also, in today’s Globe & Mail Economy Lab, Andrew Jackson responds briefly to a new Fraser Institute study claiming that “right to work” laws would create jobs.

Right-to-work laws are no solution to manufacturing job woes
http://goo.gl/dTEOhL

Source:
Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Labour Day: celebrating our role as workers
http://cupe.ca/pensions/labour-day-celebrating-role-workers
August 30, 2013
Labour Day is about more than a well-deserved day off. It is a time to celebrate the important contributions we make to our economy as workers. It is also a good time to reflect on what is needed to improve the economic and social well-being for all other workers in Canada and around the world.
(...)
As we celebrate Labour Day this year, let’s really celebrate the contribution of working people by continuing to press for economic change to reverse growing income inequality. Press for economic change to drive the economy through higher wages and economic change to ensure all Canadians can retire in dignity.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees

http://cupe.ca/
With 627,000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Hennessy's Index is back!
After a summer hiatus, our monthly Hennessy's Index has returned just in time for Labour Day weekend!
The focus of the September edition is (appropriately) on unions.

Read the latest index here:
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/facts-infographics/hennessys-index-unions

Hennessy's Index [ http://www.policyalternatives.ca/index ] is a monthly listing of numbers, written by the CCPA's Trish Hennessy, about Canada and its place in the world. The home page includes links to all past editions.

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Recent release from
the Canadian Union of Public Employees:
[ http://www.cupe.ca ]

Everyone benefits from collective bargaining
http://cupe.ca/bargaining/a51250c4b61966
February 20, 2013

Members of CUPE distributed a leaflet at subway stations surrounding Queen's Park on Tuesday, February 19, in advance of the Ontario Throne Speech.
The leaflet includes 15 reasons to support collective bargaining -
15 common workplace standards first negotiated, through collective bargaining, by unions like CUPE:
*
Parental leave
* Statutory holidays
* Employment standards
* Health and safety regulations
* Right to refuse unsafe work
* 40-hour work week
* Paid vacation leave
* Bereavement leave
* Pay equity
* Same-sex benefits
* Minimum wage
* Pensions
* Anti-harassment protection
* Sick leave
* The weekend

Senior Tory Senator Lambasts Conservatives for Politically Motivated Attacks on Unions
http://lawofwork.ca/?p=6273
February 15, 2013
In his stirring and memorable speech [see below] in the Senate yesterday, Senior Conservative Senator Hugh Segal didn’t say anything that hasn’t already be said by newspaper columnists, academics, unions, the Canadian Bar Association, and many others. However, the fact that it was a respected Conservative pointing out that recent attacks against unions by the Federal Conservatives are little more politically motivated, transparent attempts to silence dissent is very striking.
Source:
Doorey's Law of Work Blog

http://lawofwork.ca/
Dr. David Doorey is an Associate Professor of Labour and Employment law at York University’s School of Human Resource Management, where he teaches courses in labour and employment law and industrial relations.

More from the Law of Work Blog about Bill C-377:
The Conservatives’ Private Members Bill on Union Transparency
http://lawofwork.ca/?p=5739

----------------------------------------------------------------

Senate debate on the second reading of Bill C-377,
An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/Sen/Chamber/411/Debates/138db_2013-02-14-e.htm#40
February 14, 2013
The Honourable Hugh Segal:

Honourable senators, I rise ... to speak on Bill C-377. I believe the bill must be amended and critically examined before committee. As I do believe that, I do not oppose second reading, although I cannot vote for the bill in principle and will not. Let me share my best judgment as to why Bill C-377, dealing with broadening trade union disclosure to CRA, is bad legislation, bad public policy and a diminution of both the order and the freedom that should exist in any democratic, pluralist and mixed-market society.
(...)
I urge honourable senators on all sides to reflect on how this bill might be revamped or, if necessary and if it is not revamped at third reading, actually stopped dead in its tracks.
(...) In the interests of free, collective bargaining; strong, competitive environments; safe workplaces; and the fair treatment of working men and women, socially, economic and politically, this bill should be either readily revamped or set aside. If it has been quoted on other matters in this place that "the best social policy is a job," then people who seek union support in the workplace — as is their right in a free society — should be protected, and the unions who serve them should not be singled out unfairly.

Source:
Senate Debates (Hansard)

Thursday, February 14, 2013
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/Sen/Chamber/411/Debates/138db_2013-02-14-e.htm
- incl. links to the following : * Order Paper and Notice Paper * Latest Journals * Previous Sittings - Journals * Latest Debates * Previous Sittings - Debates

Unions Matter : How the Ability of Labour Unions to
Reduce Income Inequality and Influence Public Policy
has been affected by Regressive Labour Laws
(PDF - 588K, 26 pages)
http://www.nupge.ca/files/publications/CFLR_Unions_Matter.pdf
There is extensive research literature that suggests there are significant social benefits for countries with strong labour rights and a more extensive collective bargaining
system. income inequality is less extreme according to a variety of measures, civic engagement is higher, there are more extensive social programs such as health care and pensions plans, and the incidence of poverty is significantly smaller. This paper adds to the literature by examining the relationship between labour unions, income inequality and regressive labour laws.
(...)
The paper finds that regressive labour laws in canada have reduced unionization rates which has led to rising income inequality and reduced civic participation.

Source:
National Union of Public and General Employees

http://www.nupge.ca/

Senior Tory Senator Hugh Segal Lambasts Conservatives for Politically Motivated Attacks on Unions
http://www.yorku.ca/ddoorey/lawblog/?p=6273
February 15, 2013
In his stirring and memorable speech in the Senate yesterday, Senior Conservative Senator Hugh Segal didn’t say anything that hasn’t already be said by newspaper columnists, academics, unions, the Canadian Bar Association, and many others.
However, the fact that it was a respected Conservative pointing out that recent attacks against unions by the Federal Conservatives are little more politically motivated, transparent attempts to silence dissent is very striking.

Read Senator Segal’s speech from Senate yesterday here:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/Sen/Chamber/411/Debates/138db_2013-02-14-e.htm#40
It makes for great reading, and probably will be quoted for years to come.

He was speaking about Bill C-377 [ http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-1/C-377/ ], which is the private member’s bill that singles out unions as the only organization in Canada that would be required to publicly disclose every single purchase made over $5000, as well as the precise amount of time spent on something called “political activities” by every union employee.

Source:
Doorey's Workplace Law Blog

http://www.yorku.ca/ddoorey/lawblog/
Thoughts on Canadian Labour & Employment Law For Students & Others

From the
Canadian Union of Public Employees
:

C-377: Conservative MPs show their anti-union bias in voting for flawed bill
http://cupe.ca/political-action/C-377-conservative-mps-anti-union-bias
December 13, 2012

The adoption of Bill C-377 by the House of Commons on December 12 shows how far the Harper government is willing to go to silence dissent and opposition, no matter what are the consequences for Canadians.

“In their eagerness to try to limit the capacity of the labour movement to conduct political action on behalf of Canadian workers, the Conservatives took advantage of their majority in the House to fast-track the approval of a useless and fundamentally flawed bill,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

Ignoring the fact that unions are already accountable to their members and blinded by their desire to attack the unions, the Conservatives knowingly passed a bill that has many dangerous side effects.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees*

http://cupe.ca/
With 618,000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.

---

Related link from
the Canadian Bar Association (CBA):
http://www.cba.org/cba

CBA urges Parliament not to pass Bill C-377
http://www.cba.org/cba/News/2012_Releases/2012-10-25-billc377-eng.aspx
October 25, 2012
OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has serious reservations about Bill C-377, Income Tax Act amendments (requirements for labour organizations) and is urging Parliament not to pass the legislation.
“The Bill contains a significant number of privacy concerns and lacks the appropriate balance between legitimate public goals and respect for privacy interests protected by law,” says the CBA in its letter to the Commons Standing Committee on Finance.
The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members

---
* UNRELATED COMMENT (by Gilles):

A big THANK YOU to the nice folks at CUPE from the Canadian Social Research Links Guy!!
In the Fall of 2003, the number of subscribers to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter passed 1,000 and my Internet Service Provider (Rogers) informed me that I could no longer disseminate the newsletter via my Rogers email account, all because of their aggressive anti-spam policy.
[In a nutshell, Rogers' bulk email policy was "max. 150 recipients in a list, max. 1,000 emails per day, and NO, we don't care that your newsletter is a useful tool for Those Who Must Save The World. Buzzoff."]

That's I received an invitation from newsletter subscriber Theresa Healy of CUPE (who has since moved over to the Canadian Labour Congress) to administer my mailing list and distribute my newsletter via CUPE'S LISTSERV (group email software). I immediately switched to the CUPE mailing system, and my blood pressure soon came back to normal. Thanks, CUPE, for allowing me to piggyback my newsletter on your LISTSERV for all these years, and special thanks to Theresa for making that all possible!

Disclaimer: Despite this sweet buddy-buddy thing with CUPE, I remain solely responsible and accountable for the choice of links presented in my site and newsletter, how I present those links to the reader, and for the occasional editorial comment - it's my time, my home computer, my experience, my biases, my Rogers Internet account and my web hosting service.

---

- Go to the Harper Government™ Record Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/harper_government.htm

Labour Day 2012: Get ready to rumble
http://rabble.ca/news/2012/08/labour-day-2012-get-ready-rumble
By Morna Ballantyne and Steven Staples
August 31, 2012
The Labour Day picnics and parades might be the calm before the storm for the labour movement this fall. On top of terrible job losses in manufacturing and resource industries, governments in Canada are sharpening their swords, preparing to do battle with the country's trade unions.
(...) It's important that this Labour Day unions consider ways to build a powerful movement of workers that extends well beyond their members.
Everyone, union members or not, needs such a movement now more than ever.
Source:
http://rabble.ca/

Also from rabble.ca:

Top 10 Labour Movement Accomplishments
http://publicresponse.wufoo.com/forms/top-10-labour-movement-accomplishments/
The labour movement has contributed to many major accomplishments since unions became active almost 200 years ago. We’ve compiled a list of some of the things now considered to be standard working conditions and basic rights that union activism has played a part in achieving. Which of the gains below do you think are the most significant?

* Ending child labour * Pensions * Paid vacation * 40 hour workweek * Health care * Minimum wage * Employment equity * Maternity leave * Legal bargaining rights * Workplace safety

What have unions ever done for us? (video, duration 2:08)
http://youtu.be/184NTV2CE_c
(Quite a bit, as it turns out...)
[Hint : Higher wages, better benefits, pensions, health and safety, medical coverage, equal rights on the job, paid vacations, the abolition of child labour, whistle blower protection, etc.]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Labour Day message from the
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE):
http://cupe.ca/unions/labour-day-message
(...)
Workers are being told they must shoulder the burden of an economic crisis they did not create. We have paid the price in declining wages, less job security, worsening working conditions and persistent attempts to erode public and workplace pensions. Meanwhile, Canada’s largest corporations are pulling in billions of dollars in profits. The OECD estimates that corporations are sitting on more than $500 billion – hoarding their winnings rather than investing it in our economy to stimulate growth and create jobs.
Source:
Labour Day message
http://cupe.ca/unions/labour-day-message
[ CUPE - http://cupe.ca/ ]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the
Canadian Labour Congress:

“Hold our heads high on Labour Day” CLC president says unions stand up for fairness
http://goo.gl/xmrKv
1 September 2012
OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress says that union members should hold their heads high on Labour Day because they stand up for fairness for all Canadians. (...)
The CLC released a study in August [ http://goo.gl/2sgOL ] showing that on average unionized workers in Canada earn $5.11 an hour more than do non-union workers. “That extra money in the pockets of individual workers means the union advantage is worth $793 million per week that is added to our economy,” says CLC President Ken Georgetti.

---

The International Monetary Fund [ http://www.imf.org/ ] and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [ http://www.oecd.org/ ] have confirmed that broadly-based collective bargaining is the best mechanism to build a healthy middle class. In short, when workers, through their unions, are able to bargain freely for decent wages, benefits and pensions, there are benefits for society as a whole. Unionized workers help to build a stronger middle class and a stronger economy for everyone.On Labour Day, we will hold our heads high as we salute the contributions of ordinary working Canadians.
Source:
http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/08/31/georgetti-union-advantage-gives-canadian-workers-more-income
[
Sudbury Star : http://www.thesudburystar.com/ ]

Canadian Labour Congress:
http://canadianlabour.ca/

---

Battle of the Wages:
Who gets paid more, public or private sector workers?
(PDF - 1.5MB, 33 pages)
http://cupe.ca/updir/Battle_of_the_Wage_ENG_Final-0.pdf
December 13, 2011
Analysis of Census data at the most detailed level available shows that overall average salaries for comparable occupation are very similar between public and private sectors in Canada.

Related CUPE news release:

New study dispels myths about public sector pay
http://cupe.ca/economics/study-dispels-myths-public-sector-pay
December 13, 2011

OTTAWA - There is no evidence the average pay of public sector workers in Canada is consistently higher than comparable occupations in the private sector, reports a new study released today by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Battle of the Wages: Who gets paid more, public or private sector workers analyzes Census data at the most detailed occupational level available. By comparing average pay in comparable occupations, the study gives the most accurate snap-shot of how public sector workers pay compares to the private sector.

Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees


On Labour Day, think about unions as an equalizing force
August 31, 2011
By Keith Reynolds
On Labour Day 2011 unions in North America are facing historic challenges. Governments and corporations are increasingly disputing the right of unions to exist and to represent working people. This is true not just in the United States. Here in Canada the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Catherine Swift, told the London Free Press: "What would be ideal is getting rid of public-sector unions entirely."
Not that long ago such a view would have been considered extremist. Now it is common in both much of the business community and the main stream media.
So Labour Day is a good time to review both what unions have given us and what has been lost in much of the world as governments reduce the rights of working people to democratically choose to act collectively.
Source:
Policy Note
Policy Note delivers timely, progressive commentary on issues that affect British Columbians, including the economy, poverty, inequality, climate change, provincial budgets, taxes, public services, employment and much more.

Policy Note is a project of the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
The CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.


The harm inflicted by public-sector unions

By Larry MacDonald
November 22, 2011
The programs and policies of the welfare state begin with good intentions but ultimately prove naïve. What happens in the real world is that organized groups end up bending the sovereign power of government toward transferring resources to themselves, away from the less organized. (...) A new book, Pension Ponzi: How Public-sector Unions are Bankrupting Canada's Health Care, Education and Your Retirement, highlights another instance. As you can guess from the title, the culprit in this instance is public-sector unions. (...) The bill [for government concessions to public sector unions] will come due for Canadians in the form of substantially higher taxes, reduced benefits and eroded purchasing power (due to higher inflation). (...) The cost of all those civil servants, politicians, teachers, firefighters, police officers and armed forces explains much of the overspending and indebtedness of the government sector, in the authors’ view.
Source:
CanadianBusiness.com

BULLSHIT.

Watch this two-minute video:
(Click the video window in the left column of this page or the link below.)

What have the unions ever done for US? (video, duration 2:09)
[Hint : Higher wages, better benefits, pensions, health and safety, medical coverage, equal rights on the job, paid vacations, the abolition of child labour, whistle blower protection, etc.]

See also:

Small Business and the Attack on Unions
Posted by Andrew Jackson
October 14, 2011
"...it does not seem especially rational for small business to embrace so fervently the extremist anti union ideology of the Fraser Institute and their political allies."
Source:
Progressive Economics Forum


Pomp, pageantry and unions
By Linda McQuaig
July 4, 2011
We surely seem to be living in conservative times — with the NDP trying to distance itself from all things socialist and the public apparently unable to sate its appetite for all things royal. Certainly it’s easy to get the impression from the media that Canadians, content with their capitalist bounty, are primarily focused on the activities and outfits of the Royal Family.So perhaps it’s out-of-sync with the times to suggest that we’re actually in the middle of a class war, and that it’s been heating up lately. (...) In the wake of the 2008 financial crunch, ordinary Canadians stand to lose even more ground. As the recent labour battles at Air Canada and Canada Post show, employers — now with firm backing from Ottawa — have new wind in their sails as they demand concessions and insist that new employees be hired at lower wage and benefit levels. This means that employers are demanding the next generation of workers be paid less than today’s workers. If this isn’t evidence of an ongoing class war, it’s hard to think what would be.

[ Comments (53) ]

Source:
Toronto Star

Unions and Inequality
By Andrew Jackson
June 27, 2011
An important paper by Bruce Western and Jake Rosenfeld which is forthcoming in the American Journal of Sociology finds that the decline in private sector union density in the US (from 34% to 8% for men, and from 16% to 6% for women) explains one fifth to one third of the increase in inequality of hourly earnings over the period 1973 to 2007. This shows declining union density to be a much greater causal factor than most studies have found.

The novel contribution of the authors is to show empirically through a sophisticated quantitative analysis that a fall from high to lower union density in industrial/regional clusters is associated with rising levels of wage inequality among non union workers in those clusters.
Source:
Progressive Economics Forum

The paper:

Unions, Norms, and the Rise in
American Wage Inequality
(PDF - 283K, 48 pages)
By Bruce Western and Jake Rosenfeld
March, 2011
"(...) We revisited the effect of declining union membership on wage inequality, arguing that unions not only equalized the wages of union members; they
also equalized the nonunion wage distribution by threatening union organization and buttressing norms for fair pay.
Source:
Department of Sociology
[ Harvard University ]

Massive protest march in Brussels rejects European austerity plans
September 30, 2010
On September 28, more than 100,000 trade unionists throughout Europe took to the streets in Brussels to oppose austerity measures, which, if governments do not change direction, will have disastrous social and economic results. Parallel national protests took place across Europe including a general strike in Spain and demonstrations in Italy, France, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Cyprus, Serbia, Poland, Finland and Ireland. Protests already held in Bucharest and Prague brought together more than 20,000 and 40,000 people respectively.
Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada’s largest union.With around 600 000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services and airlines.

World Day for Decent Work - October 7, 2010
- this website tracks activities organized by trade union organizations in the lead up to and during October 7 itself.

European Trade Union Confederation (organizers of the Brussels march)

December 15, 2009

One Year In and Still Waiting for a Recovery (PDF - 226K, 20 pages)
Recession Watch Bulletin (Issue 3 - Fall 2009)
Canada’s “Great Recession” began in October 2008, the month in which the global economy fell off a cliff and the national unemployment rate began to rise rapidly from 6.3%. Even before the recession, of course, there had been major layoffs in manufacturing because of a high Canadian dollar and an already slowing U.S. economy. The year from October 2008 to October 2009 saw a major deterioration in Canada’s job market. And the worst is not yet over. Most commentators expect that the job market will continue to worsen for a while, even if economic growth begins to recover. As of October 2009, the pace of job loss was slowing, but unemployment was still rising. Many commentators expect the national rate to go over 10% this winter.

Related links:

Recession Watch Bulletin #2
Posted: Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Recession Watch Bulletin #1
Posted: Sunday, 1 March 2009

Source:
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Also from the CLC:

An Update on Canada’s Two Economies
- Implications for Workers and for Monetary Policy

June 8, 2007
By Andrew Jackson
NOTE: This is a revised and extended version of the comments made by Andrew Jackson at a panel on the Canadian economy organized by the Bank of Canada and the IMF at the recent Canadian Economics Association meetings.
- incl. * The Hidden Jobs Crisis * Boom and Bust: Resources, Trade and the Manufacturing Crisis * Manufacturing Matters for Workers * The Poor Quality of New Jobs * Flat Real Wages * Implications for Labour Market Policy * Implications for the Bank of Canada
Source:
Relentlessly Progressive Economics
Commentary on Canadian economics and public policy

An Update on Canada’s Two Economies
- Implications for Workers and for Monetary Policy

June 8, 2007
By Andrew Jackson
NOTE: This is a revised and extended version of the comments made by Andrew Jackson at a panel on the Canadian economy organized by the Bank of Canada and the IMF at the recent Canadian Economics Association meetings.
- incl. * The Hidden Jobs Crisis * Boom and Bust: Resources, Trade and the Manufacturing Crisis * Manufacturing Matters for Workers * The Poor Quality of New Jobs * Flat Real Wages * Implications for Labour Market Policy * Implications for the Bank of Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), Low Earnings and the Working Poor
By Andrew Jackson
September 18, 2006
Source:
Relentlessly Progressive Economics
[A Blog of the Progressive Economics Forum]

********************************

LINK - The Canadian Labour Congress Research Newsletter
- incl. New Papers in the Web (Socially Responsible Investment - Labour Rights: Anti-Scab Legislation - The OECD Jobs Strategy - Training - Policies to Assist the Working Poor) Worth Noting (New report from the Canadian Policy Research Network on Canada's adult education and training system
NOTES:
1. the "LINK"link above always points to the most recent issue of the newsletter
2. scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for links to three earlier issues back to March 2006

LINK Online Research Newsletter - May 2006 Issue
- incl. New Papers on the Web - Research by CLC Affiliates - Worth Noting
- Selected content from this issue:
--- Organizing Low Wage Workers: Performance and Prospects : the role of unions as part of the answer to the growing problem of low paid and precarious work.
--- Rowing Against the Tide: The Struggle to Raise Union Density in a Hostile Environment
--- Current Pension Issues and Trends focuses on current regulatory issues
--- Why Working Families Need Public Health Care : summarizes labour's arguments against private health insurance and private delivery of health care.
--- Private-Public-Partnerships (P3s) and the Transformation of Government
--- Labour Left Out : research from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives into the failure of Canadian governments to protect and promote the collective bargaining rights of both unionized and non-unionized workers

Source:
Social and Economic Policy Department
[ Canadian Labour Congress ]
 

Some recent content from the CUPE website:

Low paid work still widespread in Canada (PDF file - 368K, 2 pages)
November 19, 2007
Despite strong economic growth, historically low unemployment rates and much discussion about labour shortages, about one in six of all employed workers in Canada - almost 2.2 million - was still low paid and earning poverty wages in 2006. This economic brief provides a short overview of the low wage workforce in Canada by province and demographic group.

From the
Canadian Union of public Employees
:

Happy Anniversary Universal Child Care Plan --- from the Party Poopers!

One year later, Canadian families still have no child care solution
Harper Conservatives celebrate first anniversary of failed plan
July 10, 2007
Monte Solberg, minister of Human Resources and Social Development, is in Winnipeg today, holding a celebration of the so-called “Universal Child Care Benefit”.“I’m not sure what there is to celebrate,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “This plan hasn’t delivered a single child care space.”
NOTE: check the right-hand margin for 14 links to related websites and articles

Also from CUPE:

Early learning and child care - It's time
July 13, 2007
The Canadian Union of public Employees (CUPE) has published a new booklet that makes the case for a universal, high quality, not-for-profit child care system. The booklet outlines the major issues facing child care workers, and promotes CUPE's plan to help build a stronger system through organizing, advocacy and collective bargaining.

Complete report:

Early learning and child care - It's time (PDF file - 2.5MB, 24 pages)
July 2007
"(...) The Canadian Union of Public Employees believes Canada urgently needs a high-quality early learning and child care (ELCC) system. Many CUPE members are parents with young children. They need quality child care so they can work with peace of mind. More than half of CUPE members are women, and women still bear the major responsibility for child-rearing."

----------

Supreme Court of Canada says collective bargaining protected by Charter
June 8, 2007
Canada’s largest union is hailing today’s landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada as the Court's most important decision in support of free collective bargaining in Canada. Referring to the Supreme Court of Canada's previous refusal to recognize collective bargaining as protected by Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, stated "In overruling its own decisions from 20 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada has removed tremendous hurdles faced by the trade union movement in this country."

Related Web/News/Blog links:

Google Search Results Links - always current results!
Using the following search terms (without the quote marks):
"supreme court, collective bargaining"
Web search results page
News search results page
Blog Search Results page
Source:
Google.ca

Happy Anniversary, Conservatives!
January 24, 2007
Well, happy anniversary, Conservative Government. With all of the effort it's taken us this year to get used to saying "Prime Minister Stephen Harper", we might have actually forgotten the promises that got him that title in the first place. Well, we might have. But we didn't. On this election anniversary, we'd like to make sure you don't forget, either. So let's revisit the promises Harper made a year ago today, and evaluate how well each has been kept."

Tory child care plans fail families
Codeblue for Childcare
January 12, 2007
The Conservative government has shuffled its cabinet and shifted priorities, but it has some major unfinished business when it comes to child care. “The Tories haven’t created the child care spaces Canadians need. Businesses aren’t welcoming their plans for the private sector to create child care spots and parents have received a taxable $100 towards covering their child care fees. It’s shameful that this government could call that a success,” said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Thirty Years of Dwindling Minimum Wages in Canada
Nov 6, 2006
The campaign for living wages has gathered momentum with bills sponsored by NDP members in both the federal Parliament and the Ontario legislature to increase the minimum wage to $10/hour. The just-released report on Federal Labour Standards also strongly recommended that the federal minimum wage be reintroduced at a level that would allow full-time workers to live above the poverty line. Federal and provincial politicians claim that we can’t afford it. But as Commissioner Harry Arthurs stated in this report, "This is an issue of fundamental decency that no modern, prosperous country like Canada can ignore." The real value of the minimum wage everywhere in Canada is now not just far below the poverty line, but also far below what it was thirty years ago, as the following CUPE Economic Brief shows. And contrary to what some politicians and low wage employers claim, increasing the minimum wage tends to have few negative economic impacts and is often positive. We can afford it and we should do it.

Complete report:

Thirty Years of Dwindling Minimum Wages in Canada (PDF file - 147K, 2 pages)
November 2006

Related Links from the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission:

Fairness at Work:
Federal Labour Standards for the21st Century

HTML version
PDF version (1.5MB, 324 pages)
"Commissioner Harry Arthurs was appointed by the Minister of Labour in October 2004 to review Part III of the Canada Labour Code. Part III establishes labour standards for workers employed in federally regulated enterprises. It is administered by the Labour Program of the Department of Human Resources and Social Development."

Mininum Wages in Canada: Theory, Evidence and Policy (Executive Summary only)
Morley Gunderson, University of Toronto
Posted October 11, 2006
Source:
Commission Research Program

Also from CUPE:

Taxes, Productivity & Competitiveness: It’s Not the Tax Cuts that Matter… (PDF file - 177K, 6 pages)
Quality public services deliver a more competitive economy and a better quality of life
September 2006
CUPE Economic Backgrounder
Economics 101 teaches that, under certain assumptions, free and competitive markets will lead to the greatest level of good for the greatest number of people. In this model, taxes, government spending and regulation interfere with the free market and are therefore bad.
Economics 201 teaches that these assumptions are highly simplistic, heroic and unrealistic; that “market failures” are pervasive; and that there is an important role for public spending, taxes and regulation that improve the economy and increase well-being.

New report focuses on new forms of privatization
News Release
March 30, 2006
"Those who follow trends know that new and more complex forms of privatization have emerged in Canada and around the world. A new CUPE resource helps you understand and identify these “monsters.” CUPE’s 16-page paper Developments in Privatization of Public Services provides details on many new kinds of privatization that now exist. It helps to answer the question "what is privatization?” by using brief examples that show how certain kinds of privatization work."

Developments in Privatization of Public Services (PDF file - 346K, 16 pages)
A background paper prepared for the Public Services International Workshop on Trade Union Responses to New Forms of Privatization
March 14 –16, 2006
Ottawa, Canada

Child care open letter hits 26,000 signatures
February 28, 2006
Momentum is building.
More than 26,000 Canadians have lent their support to an open letter that urges the prime minister and premiers to honour the federal-provincial child care agreements signed last year.

Related Links:

CODE BLUE for Child Care
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

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