Toronto – April 22, 2014 – On April 16, the first Equal Pay Day recognized by the Ontario government, UFCW Canada and Local Union activists joined community allies and members of the Equal Pay Coalition to demand pay equity for workers at a major rally held in Toronto.
The rally sought to raise awareness of the length of time a woman in Ontario must work into the next year to earn the same income as a man did in the previous year. Although pay equity is mandated by law in Ontario, on average women earn 31 percent less than their male colleagues.
UFCW Canada Local 1000A led the Equal Pay Day rally in Toronto, where activists leafleted the public just steps away from the Ontario legislature at Queen's Park. Local 1000A is a key partner in the Equal Pay Coalition, and has played an important role in pressuring Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to recognize Equal Pay Day. But so far Ontario is the only province to acknowledge the Day.
UFCW Canada officers and activists show their solidarity for Equal Pay Day at the National Council meeting in Toronto, April 16, 2014.
"If it was not for unions working together to achieve pay equity for all workers, we would be much further behind on this issue," says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. "Ontario is the first province to officially recognize Equal Pay Day, and we still have a long way to go before full pay equity is realized. But our union will continue to fight for equal pay for all workers until this issue is addressed across the country," Brother Meinema adds.