Activists call on government to improve Ontario’s labour laws


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Toronto – April 26, 2017 – UFCW Canada recently joined the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and its affiliates at a press conference held at Queen’s Park to call on the Ontario government to reform the province’s labour laws and address the rise of precarious work.

Activists called for action to “Make It Fair” by ensuring that Ontario's new provincial budget includes measures to help raise the bar for all workers amidst growing precarity in the province’s workforce.

Speakers at the press conference included OFL President Chris Buckley, Fight for $15 and Fairness coordinator Pam Frache, Dr. Kate Hayman of the Decent Work and Health Network, and UFCW Canada Local 175 activist Tim Hum.

During the press conference, Brother Hum shared some of his experiences dealing with anti-union employers, and emphasized the need for better labour standards in the province to protect workers from employer abuse.

"My experiences as a worker have made me appreciative of being in a union," Brother Hum said. "It has also made me realize why being in a union is so necessary. Workers need to have a united voice, and belonging to a union is the only way to do that. The current system is outdated and clearly unbalanced. It prevents workers in this province from getting the representation they deserve,” he added.

As part of its Changing Workplaces Review, the Ontario government is currently examining the province’s labour and employment laws for the first time in over two decades. The recommendations of the Review will be made public in May 2017.

In light of this opportunity, UFCW Canada and Local Unions across Ontario have worked with labour allies to put forward a number of recommendations aimed at improving the province’s labour laws. They include strengthening workplace rights through proactive enforcement of employment standards; making it easier for workers to join a union; taking action to address precarious employment; and closing the gender wage gap.