Unions are there when members need help interacting with the business that employs them. Being a union member gives workers the opportunity to negotiate more favourable working conditions and benefits through through collective bargaining. And union members earn better wages and benefits than workers who don't belong to a union.
Workers at Canada's Goodlife locations across Canada are working to improve their working conditions by joining a union. This is their story.
NO DUMBELLS. Fitness workers exercise their rights in union drive
By: Canadian Labour Institute / CALM
There are more than 12,000 of them. They work as group fitness instructors and personal trainers in more than 300 Goodlife locations from coast to coast. They have already won a $7.5 million class action lawsuit to collect back pay from Goodlife. Their union drive continues to build momentum.
Tanya Ferguson is a union organizer with Workers United Canada Council (WUCC). She recalls it wasn't hard to connect with Goodlife workers. "At the first union meeting a broken elevator had instructors carrying their bikes up 10 flights of stairs. They wanted to see something happen and were willing to do something about it."
Workers United is the first union in North America to represent fitness workers. Over 600 GoodLife Fitness personal trainers in Toronto, Ajax, and Peterborough have joined the union. Group fitness instructors are slower to join in. However, union density has reached 25% and workers are seeing the benefits.
Paying for the privilege of working
I spoke to Michelle,* a Goodlife yoga instructor, who was not part of the union organizing, but she agreed Goodlife was not always a good boss.
As a yoga teacher with Goodlife, even though she is a certified teacher through the Yoga Alliance ...
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