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August 2002     Vol. 3, no. 8

Unionization and fringe benefits

Ernest B. Akyeampong

  • In 1999, slightly more than half of all employees were covered by a medical, dental, or life/disability insurance program. About 43% were covered by an employer-sponsored pension plan.
  • Coverage rates in the three insurance plans for unionized workers were approximately double those for non-unionized (80% versus 40%). The union advantage in pension plan coverage was much larger (80% versus 27%).
  • A majority of unionized employees enjoyed coverage under all three insurance plans; a majority of non-unionized had no coverage under any plan.
  • For unionized workers, the chances of being covered were almost the same in both the public and private sectors. For the non-unionized, the chances were much higher in the public sector.


Ernest B. Akyeampong is with the Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. He can be reached at (613) 951-4624 or

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