The success of workers who are unionized in Canada proves there are advantages and opportunities for unions to organize employees for better wages, benefits and working conditions. It also shows how unions help all workers.
Data from labour organizations shows that by the end of 2015, the number of workers paying dues to a union stood at 4.83 million, up from 4.75 million at the end of 2014. The majority of the workers belonged to national or international unions. The construction sector has the third highest overall unionized rate, with an annual growth rate of 3.7 per cent.
Growth in the construction sector helped to offset the decline in manufacturing, with (2015 numbers) 116,000 new members, according to data.
The benefits of joining a union are many, including higher wages. According to the Canadian Labour Congress (CLG), on average, workers who are unionized in Canada earned $5.28 an hour more than non-union workers, with women earning more than $7 an hour than non-unionized workers. Younger workers benefited substantially, earning an extra 27 per cent from employment covered by a collective agreement.
Unionized workers are important to their communities because that’s where they spend their money, supporting local economies. That, in turn, bolsters the local tax base, leading to municipal services that improve everyone’s quality of life.
Benefits union members receive, including dental insurance and extended health care coverage, support the growth of related services in a community, attracting professionals who support residents.
Union membership can also open doors to career growth and change. The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), for instance, offers training and programs for their related trades.
Apprentices will receive practical knowledge and training that will help them become highly skilled and competitive in the workforce. They will also get paid while they learn.
For more information about the different trades IUPAT represents and what you need to get started, click here. To learn more about how being part of a union helps all workers, contact the IUPAT office today.