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The Rising of Us All: Young Workers and Unions

Workshop on the role unions have played in elevating the conditions of all workers and the generational threat to job security and public services posed by the Baby Boomer Generation.

OFL Communications

on 29 March 2013

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Transcript of The Rising of Us All: Young Workers and Unions

The Rising of Us All Young Workers and Unions JDuff@ofl.ca joelduff www.OFL.ca OFLabour 416-707-0349 Joel Duff, Communications Director ? What have unions done for me? Challenging Pulling up the Ladder what can unions do better? the next Are Unions Still Relevant? Almost 1 in 5 Canadians between 18 and 34 is foreign born and 1 in 6 is a member of a visible minority. DIVERSE! generation URBAN! They tend to be supporters of arts and recreation. CULTURED! 15-year-old Canadians are among the best in the world in reading, math and science. SMART! Full-time post-secondary enrolment is at an all-time high. Between 2000-2010, the proportion of adults aged 25-64 with higher education increased from 40% to 51%. Those with less than a high school diploma dropped from 19% to 12% EDUCATED! The most mobile group, young people are more likely to live in one of Canada's largest cities. 16.2%
3.8% Over time, unions have contributed to developing Ontario's middle class and to improving safety in the workplace. These were important gains ... But those days are gone. The world has changed.
- Ontario PC Leader Time Hudak "Austerity agenda" Deep cuts to jobs and social programs Good Accessible Employment Health Retirement Double standard - cutting social programs after their generation has taken full advantage of each Most significant impact will be on next generation of workers and will affect equity-seeking groups jobs 16 Percentage of Canadian labour market that are youth ...but youth were 50% of all job losses in the recession 14.8 Percentage of unemployed youth in summer 12, compared to 7.2% in the national workforce 34,000 Number of jobs added in August 2012, while 22,000 youth lost their jobs 72,000 lost their jobs in 2011 250,000 Number of young worker jobs lost since pre-recession peak in 2008 Increase in Ontario tuition fees between 1990 and 2012 education 350% Surplus Ontario students pay above the Canadian average 29% Students who cite financial reasons for failing to complete their studies 34% Annual cost per family to eliminate all tuition fees $170 Average Ontario university student debt for a 4-year degree $27,747 Average Ontario college student debt for a 2-year diploma $10,889 Average Québec university student debt where fees are less than half the national average $14,000 Interest paid on average university graduate's debt $11,833 80% of E.I. processing centres announced for closure in 2012, along with new restrictions on eligibility Insurance 40% reduction in E.I. benefit payments beween 1990 and 1999 40% of unemployed Canadians are eligible for E.I. 26% of unemployed Ontarians meet the more restrictive provincial requirements 30% pay cut must now be accepted by E.I. recipients if they are offered a job paying less than their previous occupation Care Occupancy rate in Ontario hospitals 98% Number of hospital beds closed in Ontario since 1990 18,500 Ontario's per person funding for health care - ranked 8 out of 10 provinces $3,911 Security Growth in poverty among Ontario seniors, compared to national rate of 25% 41.9% Average monthly Old Age Security pay out $508.35 Average income of 2/3 of elderly Canadians, compared to average Canadian wage of $47,200 $25,000 The Union Advantage Difference for women workers
($15,000/year) $7.94/hour 20% more likely to receive drug, vision or dental benefits Two times as likely to have a workplace pension plan Pay equity means that in unionized workplaces, only 6.4% of women earn less than $13.33/hour, compared to 53% in non-union workplaces The Rising of Us All "History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them."— Martin Luther King Jr. — 389 Fatalities Reported
80 of these are traumatic deaths (killed on the job).
273 of these are occupational disease.

238,373 Injuries Reported Health & Safety Workplace Deaths and Injuries in Ontario in 2012 Not one negligent employer has ever gone to jail. Source: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Ending Child Labour Paid Vacation & 40-Hour Week Minimum Wage Public pensions & Employment Insurance Women's Wages & Rights of Ontario families have seen their wages stagnate or decline over the past ten years + Employment Standards + Health & Safety Legislation + Public health care + Maternity benefits + Anti-bullying legislation + Civil Rights + The Right to Choose + Human rights protection for LGBTQ That's 600,000 families! Just under 50% of today's jobs in the GTA & Hamilton are "precarious"
- part-time, contract
- lower wages
- few or no benefits
- no paid vacation
- No job security This affects decisions to:
- start a family
- purchase a home
- plan for the future
- prepare for retirement Precarious work Disproportionately impacts:
- women
- immigrants (old and new)
- racialized people in general Falling Behind 40% Poverty Rates are Climbing! Along with B.C., Ontario has the fastest growing rate of poverty in Canada 14.6% of Ontario children live in poverty
(that's 1 in 7) 18.4% of Aboriginal Ontarians live in poverty
Racialized people are two to four times more likely to live below the low-income cutoff In 1976, the richest 10% of families with children earn 27 times the poorest 10%
By 2004, that jumped to 75 times The Wage Gap! For every dollar a white man earns women earn: $0.71 racialized women earn: $0.64 aboriginal women earn: $0.46 $1.00 inequality + sick leave The Conservatives wants to:
Outlaw mandatory union dues
Make union leaders collect dues instead of employers
Ban mandatory union membership
Impose extraordinary reporting protocols on unions
Limit union-funded political action American-Style
Attack on Unions Unions Elevate the Wages and Improve the Lives of All Workers Unions have significant and positive effects on the lives and living conditions of all workers. Unions achieve more egalitarian social outcomes through: higher wages for union and non-union members, especially in related industries;raise the pay for the lowest paid workers; decrease the gap between executive pay and mainstream wage rates; andContribute to the adoption of a range of progressive public policies. Unions Boost the Economy and Help Reduce Inequality The World Bank found a negative correlation between union density and inequality in labour earnings. It concluded that by every meaningful economic indicator, countries with higher rates of unionization have:lower unemployment and inflation;higher productivity;speedier adjustments to economic shocks; and A smaller wage gap between men and women.
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