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“While we have turned a corner on a new millennium, workers across the country - especially women - will still be giving most employers and governments a failing grade on wage equality on Labour Day 2000.

Amidst the worker holiday celebrations, Labour Day is a time to remember that poverty is all too common. Today, 56% of all families with children headed by a sole support mother are poor. Women still on average earn 80 cents to every dollar a man earns on an hourly basis. Translated over a year, it means full-time working women earn $14,600.00 less! That economic injustice follows women for life into their pension years.

In this province, we have workers in long-term care homes making second-class wages for delivering first-class care to Manitobas seniors. We have early child educators taking care of children making a pittance compared to what people who take care of our cars earn. And despite the line-ups at food banks, there is intense opposition to raising minimum wages.

CUPE Manitobas 23,000 members support the Doer Governments pledge to raise the minimum wage on a yearly basis. We are also committed to working for improvements to our provinces Workers Compensation Board and Health and Safety legislation. Workers deserve better for their labour.

This year, as CUPEs contribution to the broader World March to end womens poverty, were launching a national campaign to raise womens wages called Up with Womens Wages. Were going to identify the barriers to a fair wage for women - and their families - and overcome them at the bargaining table and in the courts by mobilizing, organizing and educating across Canada.

Women, through their unions, have been fighting for an end to poverty for their families long before Labour Day became a workers holiday. On this Labour Day we are renewing our efforts to end poverty. We are renewing our struggle to see that all workers get a fair wage”.

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