April 6, 2021
The Honourable Brian Pallister
Premier of Manitoba
204 Legislative Building 450 Broadway Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Re: Pay Equity
Dear Premier Pallister,
Across the country, Equal Pay Day is marked in April. In Canada, it takes the average woman over 15 months to make the same as the average man did in 12 months. We know the gap is even wider for women facing multiple and intersecting areas of discrimination. Women with disabilities face a 56% gender pay gap; Immigrant women face a 55% gender pay gap; for Indigenous women it is a 45% gender pay gap; and for racialized women there is a 40% gender pay gap.
Despite having a pay equity regime in place for some public sector workers, private sector workers are left to on their own to pursue individual cases of wage discrimination. Without strong proactive legislation, we know this leaves workers without an effective process.
As Unifor’s Western Regional Director, I am writing to urge your government to introduce proactive pay equity legislation without delay.
With federal pay equity legislation due to be in force later this year, over half of Canadian workers will be covered by proactive pay equity legislation. It is time for Manitoban women not to be left out of this equality measure.
Everyone deserves to be paid fairly for the value of their work, whether their job is done mainly by women, or mainly by men. It is clear that Manitoba will not recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic until women recover from the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on their livelihoods. Addressing the gender pay gap is a necessary and important step your government must take to lead the province into a pandemic recovery.
Unifor Western Regional Director