The struggle for a pay equity law in Ontario
Women in Ontario alone lost three billion dollars annually in potential wage and salary income due to male-female wage inequalities. The figure for all of Canada was $7 billion. Although there had been commitment to redress this situation in Canada, at least since the 1951 International Labour Office Convention and follow up legislation at the federal and provincial levels, unequal pay still prevailed. Organizations such as the Equal Pay Coalition of Ontario led the way in fighting to obtain legislative change that would enforce not just equal pay for equal work but proactive equal pay for work of equal value. Mary Cornish and Laurell Ritchie, two of the founders of the Equal Pay Coalition of Ontario spoke to Rise Up about the stages of this struggle and the importance of winning the passage of the Pay Equity Act in Ontario in June, 1987.
Mary Cornish and Laurell Ritchie
interviewed by Sue Colley
Material from the Archive
- Equal Pay Coalition of Ontario
- Historic Victories of the 1980s on Reproductive Rights and Pay Equity
- Bringing Pay Equity to Those Presently Excluded
- UAW Submission to the Public Consultation on Pay Equity
- Ontario Federation of Labour Brief to Ontario Government
- Pay Equity – can we make it work?
- Pay Equity in Ontario: Coalition Politics – Cayenne, Fall 1987 (pg 5)
- Labour Movement and Women’s Equality
- OFL Convention (1985) – Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value
This project has been made possible in part by Library and Archives Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program.