In Our Times Tally

● Current personal debt to income ratio in Canada: 1.66 to 1
● Personal debt to income ratio in the United States in 2007: 1.65 to 1
● Chance that a new job created in Canada since 2008 has been temporary: 1 in 2
● Current percentage of jobs in Canada that are either temporary, contract or part-time: 37
● Percentage decline in median annual earnings in Canada since 1976: 5.5
● According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, percentage of American rivers that are “unable to sustain life”: 55
● Number of 15 to 24 year-old youth around the world who are officially unemployed: 262 million
● Percentage of employers in Ontario who received complaints about labour violations in 2009 and 2010 and received a fine: 0.5
● Amount owed in back pay by Ontario business owner Peter Check to 68 students who worked at his pool company: $55,000
● Fine he received by the Ontario Ministry of Labour in April 2013: $15,000
● Percentage of U.S. non-managerial workers who currently belong to a labour union: 11.3
● Percentage who belonged to a labour union in 1955: 33
● Number of Americans who are members of a labour union: 14.3 million
● Number of Americans who work at a worker-owned cooperative: 13 million
● Number of Wall Street Journal articles in 2012 that mentioned the phrase “employee ownership”: 5
● Number that mentioned the phrase “golf clubs”: 132
● Percentage of working Canadians who expect to be “fully retired” by the age of 65: 27
● Percentage of U.S. employers who engage in threats of worksite closures during organizing drives: 57
● Percentage who interrogate workers in one-on-one meetings during organizing drives: 63
● Percentage of union members in the U.S. who still don’t have a collective agreement one year after a new certification: 52
● Current minimum wage in British Columbia: $10.25
● Hourly minimum wage at full time work hours necessary to meet the official poverty line in Vancouver: $19.14
● Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births in Sweden: 4
● Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births in the United States: 21
● Percentage of Canada’s growth of income inequality during the 1980s and 1990s attributed to declining unionization: 15
● Chance that an adult immigrant arriving in Canada today has a bachelor or graduate university degree: 2 in 5
● Percentage of Canadians who believe that “unions do a good job of protecting their members’ jobs”: 61
● Percentage of Canadians who voted Conservative in the 2011 Federal Election and believe this: 53
● Number of people throughout the world who lack access to clean drinking water: 1.1 billion
● Number of people who die every year because of polluted drinking water: 2.2 million
● Chance that one of them is a child under the age of five: 9 in 10
● Estimated percentage of the entire world’s population that will lack access to clean drinking water in the year 2025: 50
● Percentage of Canadians who report “being disturbed” witnessing exploitative child labour while on vacation: 77
● Percentage of Canadians who are “not aware” that exploitive child labour is used to produce goods for western markets: 36
● Chance that an agricultural worker in Ontario is originally from Mexico or the Caribbean: 1 in 2
● Number of right-wing “Patriot” and “Militia” organizations in the United States in 2008: 149
● Number today: 1,360
● International rank of Canada in allowing journalists access to state documents: 55
● Average time it takes a Canadian journalist to be granted access to documents after making a formal request, in days: 395
● Estimated percentage of all newspaper revenues in Canada that derive from advertising: 80
● According to Sun News TV, average number of viewers in Canada who watch the network each daytime hour: 16,500

Our Times Tally is written by union communications and media consultant Sean Cain (www.labourmedia.org).

SOURCES: 1.66 to 1 – Bank of Canada (March 2013); 1.65 to 1 – U.S. Federal Reserve; 1 in 2 – Canadian Union of Public Employees (Economy at Work, Winter 2012); 37 – Workers’ Action Centre (Your Rights at Work); 5.5 – Statistics Canada (Series v1540465, v1540466); 55 – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (March 2013); 262 million – World Bank (2013); 0.5, $55,000, $15,000 – Ontario Ministry of Labour; 11.3, 33, 14.3 million – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; 13 million – New York Times (December 14, 2011); 5, 132 – Gar Alperovitz (University of Maryland) and Keane Bhatt; 27 – Ipsos Poll (February 20, 2013); 57, 63, 52 – Economic Policy Institute (No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing); $10.25, $19.14 – Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (2012); 4, 21 – UNDP Annual Report (2013); 15 – University of British Columbia (Canadian Inequality: Recent Developments and Policy Options, May 2012); 2 in 5 – Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets Report (2013); 61, 53 – Abacus Data Poll (August 10 – 12, 2012); 1.1 billion, 2.2 million, 9 in 10 – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2013); 50 – World Health Organization; 77, 36 – Ipsos Poll (August 23 and September 26, 2012); 1 in 2 – Sarah Mann (Briarpatch Magazine, November 1, 2010); 149, 1,360 – Southern Poverty Law Center (Intelligence Report, Spring 2013); 55 – Centre for Law and Democracy (2013); 395 – Canadians Journalists for Free Expression Survey; 80 – Donald Gutstein (Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy, 2009); 16,500 – Dylan Hackett (The Other Press, March 2013).
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