Last year, Ontarians won major improvements in our employment standards and labour laws, to make them fairer for workers. After years of submissions from workers, public town-hall meetings, and many rallies, the Ontario legislature made Bill 148 the law.
Bill 148 raised the minimum wage, provided all workers with personal emergency leave (including two paid sick days), mandated equal pay for part-time, temporary and other precarious workers, increased vacation time, provided fairer scheduling rules to give workers more predictability in their working lives, and gave workers more opportunity to unionize. These changes were long overdue. They are not luxuries – these are basic minimal protections that all workers deserve.
On October 2nd, Doug Ford pledged to cut Bill 148; we cannot let this happen!
Please take a minute to call Doug Ford (416-325-1941) and email your local MPP: www.myrights.ca/email_mpp
The changes brought about through Bill 148 do not only benefit those who work for minimum wage but Bill 148 raised the floor of working conditions of all workers, including union members.
If the law is rolled back, employers will get back their power and their old tools to exploit workers and to widen the gap between those who have union protection and those who don’t. This gap puts enormous pressure on unions to dampen our expectations for better collective agreements, and to accept the overall push by employers to roll back workers’ rights.
Poll after poll shows that the people of Ontario overwhelmingly support the higher minimum wage and the improvements to working conditions through Bill 148. There is solid evidence that the minimum wage increase improved Ontario’s economy by putting more money in consumers’ pockets. Since Bill 148 came into effect, average hours worked are up and Ontario’s unemployment remains at near-record lows.
We urge all PSAC members living in Ontario to get involved to defend the hard-fought rights in Bill 148. Stay tuned for upcoming actions in your community by signing up to www.15andfairness.org. If we stand together we can stop the rollback of these laws that benefit us all.
Sharon DeSousa, PSAC Ontario Regional Executive Vice-President
Greg McGillis, PSAC National Capital Region Regional Executive Vice-President