Families are the glue that hold society together. It’s also true that unions are one of the most powerful forces for keeping families together.
How? If it weren’t for unions, you wouldn’t be able to spend quality time with your kids on Saturday afternoon – the weekend was something unions fought for and won.
If you didn’t belong to a union, you may not be able to pay for your children’s sporting equipment or that family vacation – because union members are more likely to enjoy higher wages. In fact, you wouldn’t even have the time off to go on vacation, because that’s something unions won, not just for their members, but for everyone.
Workers can stay home when they or family members are sick, because unions won them paid sick days. And unions help them get the expensive medications that can bring loved ones back to health or keep them in health.
Were it not for unions, many single moms wouldn’t be able to raise a family without falling into poverty – because unions introduce and enforce pay equity and equal work for equal pay.
Unions provide for enhanced job security and stability, giving people the confidence to make long-term investments that are good for families, like buying a home.
Unions not only were instrumental in creating the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Pension, but they also negotiate pension plans with individual employers. Instead of supporting dependent seniors, parents can focus on their children.
The list of benefits that stem from union activism, both for union members and society at large, is extensive. Unions have made an immeasurable impact for good on families large and small.
So on May 15, which the UN observes as International Day of the Family, give thanks for the many ways the labour movement has helped you and your family.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida