Canada’s Unions #DemandBetter for Equal Pay Day 2021

April 6, 2021

Canada’s unions are marking Equal Pay Day by calling for immediate action on pay equity. Equal Pay Day signals the day when average wages in female dominated job categories finally catch up to the wages in male dominated job categories from the previous calendar year. This year, that date arrives on April 7.

“Even in 2021, women still make on average 32 percent less in wages than men,” said Marie Clarke Walker, CLC Secretary-Treasurer. “The gender pay gap is even steeper for some. Over the past year, the disproportionately gendered and racialized economic and health impacts of COVID-19 have made the financial insecurities faced by women in our economy even worse. The federal government has promised to enforce pay equity and there is no time to lose.”

Racialized women make 40 percent less than white men born in Canada. For Indigenous women, the gap is 45 percent and for immigrant women and women with a disability, that difference is 55 percent and 56 percent less respectively.

“This pandemic has shown us just how important work traditionally performed by women is to the health and safety of our communities,” said Clarke Walker. “Cleaners, cashiers and caregivers are among the workers now recognized as essential. Yet, the low pay and unfair working conditions they endure does not respect their value to our communities.”

The work in these undervalued sectors is often invisible and unrecognized, and exposes workers to possible violence and harassment and other health and safety risks, limited job security and access to benefits, including paid sick leave. Many of these women workers are Black, Indigenous, racialized and recent immigrants. This contributes to wider wage gaps for marginalized workers.

Add your voice this Equal Pay Day by writing to your Member of Parliament to demand that the federal government make pay equity the law here.

For more information on Equal Pay Day 2021, and to join the online campaign and events, click here.

Related Articles

Canada’s unions urge federal government to help end transphobic harassment in the workplace

Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to mark the International Trans Day of Visibility by ratifying ILO Convention C-190 to help end transphobic discrimination, violence and harassment in the workplace. The International Trans Day of Visibility is celebrated around the world on March 31st as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of trans and non-binary community members. “It’s challenging to…
Read More

Labour: protect worker rights, not gig employers

The Canadian Labour Congress and provincial and territorial federations of labour find Uber’s self serving proposal for Flexible Work+ dangerous, undermining and offensive to the rights and dignity of workers. The plan, rolled out over the past few weeks, signals the companies’ intention to pressure governments to invent a niche category for app-based employment. Like Proposition 22 in California, Uber…
Read More

Canada’s unions call on federal government to eliminate systemic racism in employment

Canada’s unions are marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by urging the federal government to ensure its efforts to modernize the Employment Equity Act address the significant inequities experienced by racialized workers as a result of systemic racism and discrimination. “Strengthening the Employment Equity Act is an important step towards addressing disparities in employment, and the…
Read More