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Almost half of Canadians say workers’ right to strike outweighs economic hit: Report

September 1, 2023
The Canadian Press

(jekershner7/Getty Images)

A new survey from the Angus Reid Institute found that for almost half of Canadians the right to strike outweighs the risk of economic consequences.

The report on how Canadians perceive unions comes after several high-profile labour disputes have made headlines across the country this year, from a month-long strike by Toronto-area Metro workers to the B.C. port strike earlier in the summer.

The Angus Reid Institute says three in five Canadians believe that unions have had a positive impact on the workers they represent.

Around three in five unionized workers say they’re satisfied with how they are represented by their unions.

Women were somewhat more likely than men to say they didn’t feel supported when they went to a union representative for assistance.

Non-unionized workers were divided on whether they would support or oppose their own workplace unionizing, with young people far more likely to welcome it.

It has been a busy, and at times challenging, year for unionized workers in Canada, the institute said in its report.

The survey found that Canada has “competing views about the value and cost of organized work in Canada, among union members and non-members alike,” the report said.

Unionized workers have been fighting for higher wage gains and other improvements as they seek to win back some of their lost purchasing power from breakneck inflation and rising interest rates.

They’ve been aided by a tight labour market that experts have said gives them a leg up in bargaining.

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