The conservative government of Ontario is levelling its first major attack on workers through Bill 47. But Unifor members are showing that the rights that workers have fought for in Ontario will not be taken away so easily.
“We’ve seen this before. Whenever they take power, conservatives don’t waste any time in trying to take away workers’ rights,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “As the workers of this province, we are the strongest opposition to the majority government’s attacks.”
Every Friday, and every day in between, Unifor members plan and execute targeted actions in their workplaces and communities across Ontario. In Ottawa, members visited the offices of MPP Fullerton where they rallied with workers from across the riding and left a note on the MPP’s locked office door asking if she would oppose Bill 47.
A similar weekly action in Woodstock resulted in MPP Ernie Hardeman finally responding to constituents’ requests for a meeting, after ignoring those requests for two weeks. These Unifor members will meet with their MPP on Thursday, November 8 and let him know where they stand on Bill 47.
“We’re not letting anyone off the hook,” said Josh Coles, Unifor Director of Membership Mobilization and Political Action. “If you’re an employer or an MPP who lobbied for or plans to support this bill, you can be sure we’re going to hold you responsible for those actions.”
In Ajax, at Loblaw-associated Logistics in Motion, organizers raised awareness at a shift change, speaking with hundreds of workers about how Bill 47 is an attack on their rights.
The proposed legislation attacks workers in three major ways.
- By freezing the minimum wage at $14 and eliminating key employment standards, the government is dropping the floor for workers in Ontario, pushing millions into more precarious, worse paying jobs.
- By making it harder to join a union or keep the union of your choice, the Ford government is telling current workers and next generation that they should settle for less fairness at work.
- By taking over and closing the independent Ontario College of Trades and degrading apprenticeship training, the Ford government is taking power away from this body of united workers, threatening the future of high quality apprenticeship training, and possibly endangering skilled trades workers.
Members across the province are encouraged to participate in Fridays of Action in workplaces and communities.
“The workers’ resistance to this government’s attacks will be a marathon. Together we can speak with union members and non union workers across the province to show the ways that conservative politicians are no friend to working people,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director.
The opposition to the conservative government will grow through member-to-member conversations. Here’s how you can participate:
On Fridays, wear red.
Print and distribute the leaflets and posters from unifor.org/Bill47
Speak with your coworkers about how the bill will affect them! Ask them to take photos with the posters, and share your photos with the national union online.
Want to take the next step? Review the changes on the campaign website, and then call your MPP’s office. Ask them to vote no on Bill 47, and explain that workers in their riding strongly oppose the change.