Union revitalization requires broader scope: panel

Unions looking to new legislative protections, community-based organizing for growth
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/06/2011

Unionization rates in Canada are falling, from 33.7 per cent in 1997 to 31.5 per cent in 2010, and it’s ground that won’t be regained easily or with the status quo, according to panelists at a recent discussion on rebuilding union density held during the Canadian Labour Congress’ annual convention in Toronto.

CAW economist Jim Stanford says a combination of globalization and a “new breed of conservatism” have dismantled many of the post Second World War structures that once supported the growth of unions in Canada.

“Employers feel they have an out,” he says. “If I don’t like what’s on offer here, I can go elsewhere.”