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Toronto – April 20, 2016 – UFCW Canada activists took to the streets of Toronto to mark Equal Pay Day on April 9, raising awareness of how far into the next year a woman must work to earn the same amount made by a man in the previous year. The day is commemorated from April 14 to 20 in different locations across the country.
Dozens of activists gathered near the Ontario Legislative building calling for fairness and equality, and to bring awareness to the issue of gender wage inequality. Activists at the rally marked the day by wearing red, illustrating how the pay gap keeps women financially below men (or “in the red”).
A recently released report published by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) pegs the average pay gap in Ontario alone at 29.4 per cent. The report suggests that a middle-income woman could find herself earning, on average, $315,000 less than a man in a similar role over a 35-year period.
Studies have shown that the most effective way to combat gender wage inequality is through a union contract. International research has consistently demonstrated that the best way to resolve the issues workers face is by protecting their right to organize.
"The gender wage gap affects all non-unionized women across every sector, and it extends beyond Equal Pay Day," says UFCW Canada Co-ordinator for Strategic Campaigns Debora De Angelis. "We need to rise and work together to urge the government to make joining a union easier because it is the most effective way to close the gender wage gap."
UFCW Canada has launched 'Closing the Gap', a new campaign which highlights the union advantage when it comes to the fight on gender wage inequality. The campaign features UFCW Canada activists telling their stories of how their union helps women overcome the gender wage gap.
UFCW Canada is proud to be a part of the fight against income inequality. As Canada's most progressive private-sector union, UFCW Canada recently participated in government consultations to combat gender wage discrimination. To learn more about UFCW Canada's advocacy efforts for women, visit www.ufcw.ca/women.