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Unions: Job Security Or Job Losses

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Possessing a tenable job in this capitalist world has always been the topmost aspiration of any Canadian worker to attain an unwavering income and secured future amidst the roller coaster economic path of the country. However, due to various economic struggles that the society is faced right now, this ambition becomes unachievable for most individuals. Consequently, Canadian citizens seek an assistance to represent them, verbalize their demands, and protect their rights as workers. This circumstance augments the necessity of employees to participate in a labor union that will vigorously respond to their individual needs and stipulations as a worker.

For many years, labor unions in Canada serve as the voice of workers against any injustices and inequality in the workplace and in the wider society. Unions become the apparatus of people to define, promote, combat for the collective interests, and secure the labor protections and rights of any employees as mandated by law. Labor unions in the country guard the interests of their members through exercising collective bargaining that allow "collective democratic voice and collective power to influence economic outcomes and workplace governance." (Jackson, 2004, p. 126) Collective bargaining encompasses negotiation regarding parity in wages, fringe benefits, retirement with dignity, hours of work, vacations, worker security, working conditions, and equality at work-all for the benefit of every member.

Unionized workers in Canada have proven their advantage in many aspects of employment as opposed to non-unionized employees. One of the ultimate goals of the bargaining program that unions practice is to increase wages or, at the very least, ensure equal wages among workers and guarantee that fewer people are left with low paid jobs. Evidently, union members with non-managerial positions earn as much as $5.00 per hour more than those who are not union members. The deviation is even more palpable for female workers who usually make $6.00 per hour more than their non-unionized counterparts do. (Wages section, para. 1)

Unionized workers are also assured of improved benefits for both men and women, across the board. Benefits are one of the fundamental needs of any employee to safeguard their future more and attain financial stability. These benefits cover pension plans-retirement with dignity as they describe it, medical and dental plans, and life and disability insurance.

A pension plan is vital for any probable retiree because it gives them the ability to maintain adequate income after retirement. In year 2000 for example, senior Canadians who have a pension plan earned twice as much as those seniors without access to one. Pension plan holders made a $28,000 income as compared to a $14,000 earning of individuals devoid of a pension plan. Statistically, 43 percent of all Canadian employees have a pension at work. While 80 percent of all unionized workers are offered a pension plan, only 27 percent of employees who are not members of a union have a pension plan. (Pensions section, para. 1 & 2)

The table below that Akyeampong presented in 2002 manifestly illustrates the advantage of unionized workers in Canada in terms of benefit coverage-medical plan, dental plan, life and disability insurance, and pension plan. It exhibits a very remarkable dissimilarity on the benefits of workers who are unionized as opposed to those who are non-unionized. It explicitly shows a more or less 50 percent discrepancy between different benefits that each type of employee enjoys. This table also includes the benefit coverage percentage for all employees as a reference.

Further reward of being a union member is the pleasure of having longer vacations and more paid holidays. During the calendar year, 7 out of 10 unionized workers had at least four weeks of paid leave subsequent to eight to 10 years of tenure, and 11 or more days of paid holidays. (Vacations section, para. 2 & 3)

Lastly, unions revolutionize



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