Pandemic Prompts Pay Gains and Labor Peace for Canadian Workers

Unionized workers in Canada are receiving solid wage gains during the pandemic, in an apparent effort by employers to keep the labor peace during a crisis.

Negotiated average annual wages increased 2% between July and September, the fastest quarterly gain since 2012, Statistics Canada data released Thursday show. That follows a 1.5% gain between April and June, at the height of the health crisis. Wage settlements have averaged 1.5% over the past five years.

Pandemic Prompts Pay Gains and Labor Peace for Canadian Workers

The acceleration in wage increases over the summer reflects strong gains for government employees, but private sector workers have also generated solid pay increases this year, averaging 2% for all of 2020.

The number of work stoppages, meanwhile, appears to have fallen to the lowest since World War II. Canada has had just 51 strikes or lockouts so far this year -- on pace for the fewest in data going back to 1947, reflecting less labor strife in the past six months.

Pandemic Prompts Pay Gains and Labor Peace for Canadian Workers

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.