ROSS and SAVAGE: The advantages of unionization are obvious, so why don’t more workers join unions?

Larry Savage, Professor of Labour Studies at Brock University, and Stephanie Ross, Associate Professor and Director of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University, recently co-wrote a piece in The Conversation about the advantages of unionization and the barriers faced by many Canadian workers who wish to unionize.

They write:

“It’s well established that unionized workers earn better wages and have better benefits than their non-union counterparts. Unionized workers also experienced much greater levels of job security during the COVID-19 pandemic. But if the advantages of union membership are so obvious, why are fewer than one in three workers in Canada unionized?

While there’s no consensus about which factors are most likely to sway support for unionization, dissatisfaction with working conditions and the desire for dignity and voice at work are often cited as key reasons why workers seek out unions. 

Wanting a union and securing a union, however, are two very different things. That’s because there are enduring obstacles to unionization that make it incredibly difficult for workers to turn their initial support for the idea of a union into reality.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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