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Toronto - For most workers, the question of union democracy is not about choosing among unions, its about having a real voice in the workplace and at the bargaining table, said Judy Darcy, National President of CUPE.

And as workers celebrate the first Labour Day of the millennium working women across Canada are coming together in an all-out drive to raise womens wages.

Women still earn on average 80 cents to every dollar a man earns on an hourly basis. Over a year, this economic injustice means that full-time working women earn $14,600 less! said Darcy. And while the wage gap between men and women is closing, at the current rate it will take another seventy years before the gap is closed. This snails pace is unacceptable to both working women and men in CUPE, said Darcy.

Labour Day 2000 marks the official launch of CUPEs national womens wages campaign. The campaign will take place on the ground, CUPE local by CUPE local across the country.

CUPE members are taking this issue on at the bargaining table, on the lawns of the legislature, before the courts and by organizing new workers. Theyre redoubling their efforts to close the gap and end the exploitation of women workers, added Darcy.

We refuse to accept the fiction that womens work in health care, education, social services, as flight attendants merits less pay, or that women work for pin money. We want employers and government to know that were not going to tolerate continued discrimination. Were sick and tired of the stalling tactics and were not willing to accept excuses, concluded Darcy.

CUPE, Canadas largest union, represents 485,000 women and men working in health care, emergency services, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation and airlines.

For more information please contact:
John McCracken, (416) 200-6126 cell

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