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Forty workers engage MPPs on Changing Workplaces and Precarious Work

TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - Workers from across Ontario will be at Queen's Park on Monday, December 7, and Tuesday, December 8, meeting with members of the Legislature to garner their support labour law and employment standards changes to address the increasingly precarious nature of work today.

"Contract work, irregular hours, holding down two or three part-time jobs to make ends meet – this is increasingly the reality for workers today, particularly young people," said Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier, who will lead the delegation of 40 workers.

"The legal framework around work in Ontario has not kept up with this fundamental shift."

It's the first substantive review in 20 years, since labour relations and employment standards were rolled back under the Harris government.

Workers from across Ontario, working in such workplaces as grocery, retail, manufacturing, social services, school busing, media, aerospace, healthcare, telecommunications, and freelancers, will be part of the delegation to Queen's Park.

Unifor's 156-page submission to the Ontario government's Changing Workplace Review makes 43 recommendations, including scheduling rules and more opportunities for full-time work, making employers jointly responsible for the actions of temp agencies, access to benefits, a modernizing of union certification and first contract negotiation and provisions for non-union workers to act collectively.

  • What: 40 workers meeting with MPPs
  • Where: Queen's Park
  • When: Monday, December 7 and Tuesday, December 8
  • Who: Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier, with workers from a variety of workplaces, including grocery, retail, manufacturing, social services, school busing, media, aerospace, healthcare, telecommunications, and freelancers

Unifor's submission cites numerous economic studies showing that in a "wage-led" economy such as Ontario's, improving the working conditions and economic situation of workers can have a strong positive impact on the economy as a whole.

"The changes we are proposing would improve the Ontario economy by improving the economic lives of ordinary Ontarians and reducing inequity across the province, said Fortier. "That's the message we will be bringing to Queen's Park on Monday."

Unifor's full submission to the Changing Workplace Review, and other background information, is available at

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.