May 23, 2017
Toronto - The release of the final recommendations of Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review underscores the need for urgent legislative changes, according to Unifor.
“There can be no further doubt that action is needed to tackle the rise in insecure, precarious work and to close the many holes that exist in Ontario’s outdated laws,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Anyone who suggests that legislative changes aren’t required is out of touch.”
The final report and recommendations recognize the struggles facing workers, particularly those who are precariously employed in temporary and casual positions who are often women, racialized workers, new Canadians, young workers and workers with disabilities. The report makes it clear that there is a great need to modernize Ontario’s labour laws. Unifor calls on the government to enact legislative changes quickly to reform and modernize labour laws and not further delay what must be done.
“Unifor is urging the government to take decisive action to chart a new direction in Ontario, one that is built on decent work, strong workers’ rights and fairness,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “Modern laws that value and protect workers can be compatible with vibrant, healthy businesses – it’s not a question of choosing one or the other. We need both."
Unifor is particularly encouraged by recommendations to strengthen rights for temporary workers, include domestic violence in emergency leave provisions, eliminate differential wages for part-time employees, establish regulated scheduling in sectors like retail, implement stronger rules to ensure fairness during organizing efforts, and allow unions access to employee lists and contact information if the union has the support of approximately 20 per cent of the employees.
However, recommendations fall short in key areas including mandating a minimum wage increase, paid sick days, a return to card-based certification, and bold initiatives on broader based bargaining. In its Changing Workplaces Review submission, Unifor made 43 recommendations to overhaul the Employment Standards and Ontario Labour Relations Acts which can be viewed at unifor.org/changingworkplaces.
“Three years into this process, there can be no further question that decisive action is needed,” said Dias. “Now it is time for the government to turn its attention to improving the lives of millions of Ontarians who are stuck in low wage, precarious jobs. These are the very people that the government must remember.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).