Labour Leaders to Premiers: Collective Bargaining, Better Labour Laws Good for the Economy – AFL

Evidence shows economic growth, higher standards for workers go hand-in-hand

Edmonton – Labour Leaders from across Canada are urging Canadian Premiers to recognize collective bargaining and better labour laws as drivers of a strong economy.

“Unions and collective bargaining are economic powerhouses,” said Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “There’s a persistent myth that collective bargaining comes at the expense of the economy. But research paints a very different picture. Jurisdictions with better collective bargaining across the globe have lower poverty, higher spending, stronger economic growth, and higher business profitability. The evidence is clear: the ticket to a strong economy is a union card.”

In joint meetings during the Council of the Federation, Labour Leaders and Canadian Premiers discussed ways to improve provincial labour laws, and how these improvements could alleviate the growing problem of precarious work, while also functioning as a strong growth strategy.

Labour Leaders also commended several Premiers on first steps toward change, citing Alberta Premier Notley’s move toward $15 minimum wage, and Albertan labour law improvements to meet national standards in Bill 17. “When workers making minimum wage have more money in their pockets, that money gets spent. It recirculates back into the economy. A higher minimum wage is good for the workers who earn more money, and it’s also good for local business. Everyone wins.”

Labour Leaders urged Premiers from across Canada to raise the collective standards on labour laws by speaking to their counterparts and directly linking labour law changes to strong economies and economic growth.

For further information, please contact:

Janelle Morin, Director of Communications

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