Unions going after private service sector

Labour pushing to organize the unorganized
By Charlotte Yates
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/17/2004

I

n 1999, for the first time in five decades, union density in Canada dipped below 30 per cent of the paid labour force. To arrest this membership decline, many unions came to conclusion that they had to place renewed emphasis on organizing the unorganized.

They’re reaching out to women, youth and people of colour employed in the private service sector, where unions have had a weak presence. Between 1997 and 2000, union membership in Canada increased in a small but distinct set of occupations and sectors. These include finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, nursing, support staff, university teachers, retail, child care and home care, as well as construction.