Unifor welcomes proactive pay equity to reduce gender wage gap


October 30, 2018

OTTAWA - Unifor welcomes the federal government's launch of proactive pay equity legislation to close the gender wage gap in federally regulated sectors.

“It’s time that we address the undervaluing of women’s work and put measures in place to ensure compliance, and the proposed Pay Equity Act does just that,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This is what our members have been pushing for in consultations across the country.”

Unifor represents more than 77,000 members in federally regulated workplaces across Canada, in sectors ranging from telecommunications and broadcasting to airlines, rail, and transport.

Members have been fighting for pay equity in our communities, at annual Equal Pay Day activities and at bargaining tables across the country.

“We look forward to working with employers through the pay equity committees that will ensure compensation is fair and not discriminatory,” said Dias. “We will be examining the details of the bill to ensure it has all the practical processes necessary.”

While non-discriminatory compensation schemes are the law, this bill puts the onus on the employer to ensure compliance, rather than workers having to complain to have their rights enforced.

“Equal pay for work of equal value, which is at the heart of this proposed legislation, should be the goal of all employers,” said Lisa Kelly, Unifor Director of Women’s department. “While this is an important protection for women in the workforce, to close the gender wage gap we need to address other barriers as well, such as the lack of universal child care and equal access to good jobs. We also need to ensure we are considering the diversity of all genders and including intersectionality in our approach.”

Unifor also applauds the Gender Budgeting Act, which seeks to incorporate a gender and diversity lens when allocating and analyzing budgets. Similarly, the establishment of the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE), in place of the current Status of Women may also further equity goals.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Asma Farooq at @email  or 647-327-9371 (cell).