We’ve managed to force big changes onto the table – let’s mobilize to strengthen them & counter the corporate lobby!
On June 1, the Ontario government tabled a package of legislative reforms that – if adopted – would represent a huge victory for workers.
Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 contains significant steps forward on all aspects of our campaign demands: from fairer wages to paid sick days, from decent hours to respect at work, and from rules that better protect us to the right to unionize. We have worked hard to convince the government to act — and now our work has paid off!
Here are just a few of the highlights from Bill 148 (for a more detailed summary, click here):
- Raising the adult general minimum wage to $15 within 18 months, in addition to previously won annual indexation to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index. When implemented, these increases will benefit more than 1.5 million people.
- Equal pay for equal work between full-time, part-time, casual and temporary workers – including those who work for temporary help agencies.
- Three (3) hours of pay for on-call employees who aren’t called in and for any employee whose shift is suddenly cancelled. Workers may refuse shifts scheduled with fewer than four (4) days notice.
- Extension of job-protected, emergency leave to ALL workplaces, protecting an additional 1.7 million workers in smaller workplaces.
- Two (2) of these 10 days will be PAID, and no doctors’ notes will be required to access any of the paid or unpaid emergency leave days.
- Easier access to union protection, especially for those in precarious sectors like cleaners, security guards, homecare and community service workers.
- Three (3) weeks of paid vacation (after five (5) years of service).
- Increased public investment in enforcement.
- More workers will be protected by the Employment Standards Act (ESA).
- And so much more …
But Bill 148 has to pass in the Ontario Legislative Assembly before any of these measures become law. The government has referred the Bill to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Over the summer, the Committee will hold public hearings and consider amendments to the proposed legislation. We need to use the summer to mobilize to strengthen the Bill and counter the Big Business lobby.
Help us counter the Big Business lobby!
While we mobilize to support and strengthen the Bill, representatives of Big Business are trying to kill the Bill or water it down. Here are just a few of the corporate lobbyists working against the $15 and Fairness campaign: The Ontario Chamber of Commerce; temp agency lobbyists like Acsess, Adecco and Randstad; the Retail Council of Canada; Restaurants Canada; Food and Beverage Ontario; the Canadian Franchise Association with “over 600 corporate members representing many of Canada’s best- and lesser-known brands” including McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and Burger King; the National Association of Canadian Consulting Businesses (NACCB), which represents the interests of IT services firms; and many others.
Decades of evidence shows that higher minimum wages and better working conditions create stronger economies and healthier communities for all of us. Yet we can count on Big Business to ignore the evidence and peddle the discredited narrative that helping workers harms the economy. Representatives of the 1% rarely support improvements in workers’ wages and working conditions because they don’t want to part with their vast profits. Did you know that Canada’s top CEOs earn 193 times the average worker’s salary?
Meanwhile, the corporate lobbyists campaigning against Bill 148 often claim to speak on behalf of small businesses, but we know that large corporations with 500 or more employees are far more likely to use minimum wage labour than small businesses. Fortunately, a growing number of small and modest sized businesses are telling their side of the story — that investing in their workforce makes good business sense.
$15 & Fairness Summer starts today!
While the representatives of the 1% are few in number, they have more financial resources to influence elected representatives at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. They have more money to spend on advertising and have they much greater access to the mainstream media.
The rest of us — the 99% who will benefit from improvements in wages and working conditions — represent the majority. But we have to organize and mobilize to make sure that our voices are heard loudly and clearly. Members of Provincial Parliament need to know their re-election depends on the extent to which they are decent work champions at Queen’s Park.
Help us spread the word!
- Download and copy this leaflet to distribute in your workplace, community, campus or neighbourhood.
- Call or write your MPP. To find your MPP, click here. For a list of MPP phone numbers and email addresses, scroll down.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
- Contribute an article to your community or union newsletter.
- Follow our Facebook page for news, supporting evidence and updates.
- Spread the word on Twitter and Facebook #15andFairness #MakeitFair #ONPoli #WorkFairON #DecentWork
Scroll below for the full list of Members of Provincial Parliament in Ontario:
Phone: 705-326-3246 or 705-526-8671
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-465-8501
Hon Michael Chan
Hon Bob Chiarelli
Raymond Sung Joon Cho
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-267-4408
Hon Michael Coteau
Don Valley East
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-355-9666
Hon Dipika Damerla
Hon Steven Del Duca
Nathalie Des Rosiers
Hon Brad Duguid
Hon Kevin Daniel Flynn
Jennifer K. French
Hon Michael Gravelle
Thunder Bay–Superior North
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-265-4046
Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington
Hon Eric Hoskins
Hon Mitzie Hunter
Hon Helena Jaczek
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-531-9551
Kingston and the Islands
Hon Marie-France Lalonde
Hon Jeff Leal
Hon Dave Levac
Hon Tracy MacCharles
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-267-1020
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-831-1899
Hon Deborah Matthews
London North Centre
Hon Bill Mauro
Hon Kathryn McGarry
Hon Eleanor McMahon
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-566-6614
Peter Z. Milczyn
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-267-4826
Hamilton East–Stoney Creek
Hon Reza Moridi
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-206-1373
Hon Glen R. Murray
Hon Indira Naidoo-Harris
Hon Yasir Naqvi
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-265-3909
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-265-3992
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-263-3980
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-424-2490
Toll Free Phone: 1-877-536-6248
Hon Charles Sousa
Harinder S. Takhar
Hon Glenn Thibeault
Lisa M. Thompson
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-396-3007
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-461-2664
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-268-7542
Hon Kathleen O. Wynne
Don Valley West
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-265-7638
Hon David Zimmer