Labour Day is an important opportunity to take time to relax, spend time with family and friends, get our children ready to head back to school and celebrate the one day of the year dedicated to working people.
Labour Day is also an opportunity to recognize the contributions that union wages and benefits make in our communities.
Researchers at the Canadian Labour Congress have found that on average unionized workers in Victoria earn $5.33 an hour more than do non-union workers. That extra money in the pockets of the city’s 54,200 unionized employees translates into an added $11.2 million every week paid into the local economy.
At the provincial level, unionized workers in British Columbia earn $5.12 an hour more on average than do non-union workers. That adds an extra $100 million per week to the provincial economy.
Decent wages mean prosperous communities because unionized workers spend their pay cheques close to home. They support local businesses and bolster the local tax base which, in turn, supports public works, community services and charities. We have found that centres with more union members support a richer mix of businesses and services – dentists, chiropractors, therapists, health specialists, family lawyers. These services benefit everyone. In short, these communities are better places in which to live and work.
But it doesn’t end there.