On April 11, the Communist Party of Canada-Ontario stands with union and community allies to recognize Equal Pay Day – the day to which women, on average, have to work to earn what a man did in 2016. In other words, a woman has to work 15 ½ months to earn what a man makes in 12 months. Women, on average, make 70 cents for every dollar made by a man. For Aboriginal, racialized, disabled, trans and lesbian women, the gap is even higher. A recent study on the Global Gender Gap by the World Economic Forum reached the damning conclusion that at the current rate, it will take 170 years for women to reach equality.
Women who are in unions are less likely to be caught in the wage gap. As women are also more likely to join a union, the labour movement should focus on organizing women-dominant workplaces. Currently CUPE local 2073 is on strike against the Canadian Hearing Society and CUPE Local 2049 are locked out by the Children’s Aid Society of Nipissing and Parry Sound. Women at majority women workplaces lead both these job actions. The use of scabs in these strikes and chronic underfunding of provincial social services stand in the way of these union members winning their fight to close the gender pay gap.