Workers in unions are an important part of the local community and economy because that’s where they spend their paycheques. Their incomes support local businesses (who create local jobs) and bolster the local tax base, which supports public works and community services that add to everyone’s quality of life.
The benefits enjoyed by unionized workers (dental insurance, extended health care coverage and legal insurance, to name a few) attract and support dentists, opticians, chiropractors, therapists, health specialists, and family lawyers whose services are available to everyone in the community.
When they retire, the incomes earned from years of contributions into pension plans also provide money to spend in the community. More importantly, they provide income security, which means fewer seniors having to rely on their families or social programs to get by. Same goes for the health, drug and survivor benefits that many retirees enjoy because they had a union when they worked.
When unions stand up for fairness, they raise the bar for everyone. Many of the things first won by unions are enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment.
Source: Canadian Labour Congress – www.canadianlabour.ca