The Parkland Institute has just released a report entitled On the Job: Why Unions Matter in Alberta. This report examines the impact of unions in the areas of wages, worker safety, and income inequality and finds:
• measured in terms of economic performance, wage growth in Alberta has been far lower than in other provinces with higher unionization rates;
• women and young workers fare much better in unionized environments;
• high unionization rates also put upward pressure on wages for non-union workers;
• unions play a key role in improving worker safety through education, worker empowerment, and government lobbying;
• there is a strong correlation between falling unionization rates and growing income inequality in Alberta.
This report suggests that any future attempts to further restrict collective bargaining in Alberta need to be assessed against the demonstrated economic and social benefits that unions deliver to workers.
-- Bob Barnetson