Labour Day: A Focus on Equal Pay

Labour Day is an Opportunity for the Canadian Workforce to Campaign for Equal Pay!

As Canadians celebrate this labour day weekend by taking a final summer trip to their cottage, get together with family and friends at parades, festivals or even fireworks, and as parents shop at the malls to take advantage of Back-to-School sales with their children and teens, let us not forget why Labour Day was originally marked in 1872.  It was a day set aside to give the Canadian workforce an opportunity to campaign for better working conditions or pay.

Today, almost half of the workforce is comprised of women and their priority is “Equal Pay for Equal Work”.  While peer countries such as United States, United Kingdom and Australia acknowledge the wage gap and have formally declared “Equal Pay Day” in their respective countries, Canada has not declared its Equal Pay Day even though it ranks 27th when it comes to wage equality according to the World Economic Forum Report of 2014.  This Labour Day, let us acknowledge the wage gap and begin working on improving conditions for almost 50% of our workers.

"This Labour Day, let us acknowledge the wage gap and work to improve conditions for almost half of our work force."

Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla, First Vice President, BPW Canada

The Business and Professional Women’s Club of Calgary (BPW Calgary) has been marking Equal Pay Day for the last 3 years.  BPW Selkirk was able to work with the Mayor of Selkirk, Manitoba, Larry Johannson to proclaim Equal Pay Day in 2012, however, the proclamation request was denied by the City of Calgary due to an antiquated proclamation policy which renders this issue as having a political overtone.  The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women during its National Convention in 2014 passed a resolution to declare Equal Pay Day "nationally" so that Canadian women are not battling this issue locally.  The resolution was tabled at the Prime Minister’s Office.  BPW Canada at its recent AGM last month reaffirmed the resolution.  With almost 600 members across Canada and its reach through the International Federation which holds Consultative 1 Status at the United Nations, we are confident that this Labour Day weekend the party leaders are truly reflecting on what is important to almost half of the Canadian Workforce as they continue preparing for the upcoming election.

Enjoy Labour Day Weekend.... because when women thrive, our children flourish, our families prosper, our communities succeed, and our overall economy grows.


Categories: Women's Issues, Commercial Law

Tags: Non-Profit, Women in Business, Women's Interest

About BPW Canada

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We are a non-sectarian, non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to improve economic, political, social and employment conditions for working women in Canada.

Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla
Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla
First Vice-President & Chairperson of Communications, BPW Canada