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.
The Communist Party of Canada – Ontario believes that immediate action is needed to address this growing inequality. We call on the Ontario Government to:
- Intervene in the CHS strike and CAS lockout to ensure a fair deal for the workers;
- Eliminate the gender wage gap
- Introduce employment equity for Aboriginal people, women, people with a disability and people from racialized and LGBTQI communities
- Ensure all workers receive equal pay for work of equal value
- Eliminate the wage gap for temporary, part-time and migrant workers.
- Demand that the Federal Government create a National Childcare Program – universal, quality, affordable childcare with Canada-wide standards and union wages for childcare workers and
- Demand that the Federal Government protect women’s right to EI maternity coverage; expand parental benefits to 52 weeks.
- End all forms of violence against women and provide adequate funding for crisis centres and transition houses.
- Enact anti-scab laws, and card-check certification for all workers.
- Enact a Labour Bill of Rights for Ontario to protect the right to organize, free collective bargaining, picket and strike for all workers
Provincial Executive, CPC (Ontario)
April 11, 2017