News briefs

Union merger proposal seeks industrial clout • Two-thirds give benefits statements • Saskatchewan minimum wage review • Canadian firms wary of offshoring • Who wants to be CEO?

Union merger proposal seeks industrial clout

— The Industrial Wood and Alliance Workers of Canada (55,000 members) and the United Steelworkers of America (190,000 members) have a tentative agreement to merge. If members ratify the merger, the new union will be one of the largest industrial sector unions in North America.

Two-thirds give benefits statements

Brookfield, Wis.
— Sixty-six per cent of North American firms give employees annual benefit statements, a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans shows. The survey is based on responses from 653 Canadian and American organizations.

Saskatchewan minimum wage review

— After two years without a change, Saskatchewan is considering upping its minimum wage from $6.65. “It’s not fair to force minimum wage earners to wait years for a review, and infrequent reviews are also more likely to result in large ‘catch-up’ increases that are not fair to employers,” said Jon Yeo, chair of the province’s Minimum Wage Board. “Reviewing the minimum wage frequently helps to ensure it more accurately reflects the economic circumstances of the day.” The board is accepting submissions from the public until Sept. 15.

Canadian firms wary of offshoring

— Overseas outsourcing of business processes, including payroll and benefits administration, holds little attraction for 88 per cent of Canadian companies, a study by Ipsos-Reid indicates. Approximately 600 businesses were polled.

Who wants to be CEO?

New York
— Women aspire to top corporate positions in numbers rivalling men, a study by the equity advocacy group Catalyst states. Dispelling the myth that there are fewer female CEOs because of personal choices, Catalyst polled 948 vice-presidents at Fortune 1000 firms to find 55 per cent of women and 57 per cent of men want the top job, regardless of whether or not they have children.

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