Better Pay and Benefits

Conservative O’Toole would mean low-wage recovery that leaves workers behind

September 15, 2021

Service workers see average wages rise paltry 59 cents during the pandemic, less than a bag of potatoes has gone up

Sales and service workers have seen wages rise only 59 cents on average – less than price a bag of potatoes has gone up – since the pandemic struck. There are still nearly 300,000 more unemployed than in February 2020 and another million are employed but working fewer than half their usual hours.

“Under the last Conservative government, precarious work swelled while job quality decreased,” said Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Government has a role to play in making sure new jobs are decent ones, but that won’t happen under Mr. O’Toole’s policies, which appear to be written for him by large corporations.”

Bruske pointed out that inequalities laid bare by the pandemic are now reasserting themselves, as low-paid workers in precarious work struggle to boost hours and keep up with rising prices. 1 in 5 workers in Canada ­– 1 in 4 women workers – are officially low-paid, one of the highest proportions in the OECD.

“As working families struggle, Mr. O’Toole offers kind words but hostile policies that would mean lower wages, fewer benefits, and more precarious work,” said Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Mr. O’Toole’s plan fails to address the real economic challenges facing families. He is just another Conservative who will help companies keep wages low while denying workers the help they need.”

Bruske said that a real workers’ agenda would include raising the minimum wage; fair scheduling laws; increasing EI and paid sick leave; opening employment standards to gig economy workers; outlawing pay discrimination against part-time employees; and strengthening workers’ voices by providing a path to unionization.

Contact information:
Chantal St-Denis
Cell 613-355-1962
media@clcctc.ca

  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Canada’s unions united with nurses in demanding urgent government action

    September 17, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • O’Toole another Conservative who would put our public health care system at risk

    September 16, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • CLC President Bea Bruske: Vote to make sure working moms aren’t left behind

    September 14, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Conservatives’ fiscal costing leaves critical question unanswered: what will Erin O’Toole cut to balance the budget?

    September 8, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • O’Toole would build a social safety net out of hot air

    September 8, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Bea Bruske: Put working families at the heart of Canada’s recovery

    September 6, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Canada’s unions release ad reminding working Canadians Erin O’Toole is dangerous

    August 31, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Bruske: Uber’s flex work proposal would continue to fail to protect gig workers

    August 30, 2021
    Click to open the link
  • Forward Together
  • CLC President encourages New Brunswick voters to choose a worker-centred recovery in federal election

    August 27, 2021
    Click to open the link