It is depressing to note the real wages for the majority of British Columbians have remained unchanged for the last 30 years. In 1982, the median income in B.C. was $31,000, well above the national average. It has now dropped 13 per cent to $27,500, far below the national median.
It is no coincidence that over the same 30-year period, a long downtrend in the proportion of the workforce that belongs to a union has occurred.
Decreased unionization of the workforce is particularly evident in the private sector, where only 16 per cent of workers in Canada now hold union membership cards. Thirty years ago, 33 per cent of private-sector employees were part of a union.
Unions in almost all cases provide a higher-wage workplace than non-unionized workplaces. There is a direct correlation between the decreasing median income for British Columbians and the decreasing union density in the workplace.
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