Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pay equity and Harper

Antonia Zerbisias points out that the Harper government has consistently undermined women:
    during his first minority government, casualties included a national childcare plan, 12 out of 16 Status of Women Canada (SWC) offices, the court challenges program, which helped women and minorities fight for their rights, the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), a research and advocacy group, and the very word "equality'' from the SWC mandate.

    Then, last week, when Finance Minister James Flaherty delivered his ill-fated financial statement, he fired another blast at women's rights.

    KABOOM! to pay equity, the idea that women's work is just as valuable as men's.

    That despite Section 11 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which states that, ``It is a discriminatory practice for an employer to establish or maintain differences in wages between male and female employees employed in the same establishment who are performing work of equal value.''

    But, in seven convoluted sentences, Flaherty not only misrepresented the concept of equal pay for work of equal value, he dumped the onus on obtaining fair and equitable wages on unions.

    As if every sewing machine operator and restaurant dishwasher has access to collective bargaining.

h/t BCL.