Canadian Labor Laws and the Treaty

By Bryce M. Stewart | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER X
EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK

"The principle that men and women should receive equal remuneration for work of equal value." (Treaty of Peace: Article 427, 7.)

No laws have been passed under the seventh clause, the payment of equal wages to men and women workers for service of equal value, but the principle has received some attention. At the fifth Trades and Labor Congress, held in Montreal in 1889, it was resolved:

Whereas at the present time female labor is manipulated and used as a means of reducing the price of labor in general; and in trades where the female is so used to the detriment of the male labor, as exemplified particularly in the printing business, she is scarcely ever properly taught said trade, or given an opportunity of earning a fair rate of wages, being merely used for the time being as a lever to reduce the price of labor; and whereas, if woman is to be recognized as a competitor in the labor market such competition should be on a fair basis, brought about by her going through the same routine of learning a trade as the male, and consequently getting the same rate of wages; therefore, resolved: -- That the Dominion Trades and Labor Congress strongly discountenances this evil, and requests that employers of labor be urged to pay the woman the same wages as the man for the same class of work properly done.1

The Congress is also on record that: "It is one of the principles for which organized labor has contended that there should be equal pay for equal work, regardless of the

____________________
1
Trades and Labor Congress, 1889, p. 23.

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