Long-awaited report highlights urgent need for workplace reform: Unifor

TORONTO, July 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The release of the ground-breaking Ontario Changing Workplaces Review interim report highlights the urgent need for reform to address the reality of modern work.

"The Changing Workplaces Review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Ontario's employment law," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "This interim report tackles the issues that millions of Ontarians face in the workforce and it includes solutions that, if implemented, would be a historic step towards ending the race to the bottom."

The interim report recognizes that Ontario workplaces are increasingly using precarious work, offering low paying part-time jobs or contract-to-contract positions without benefits or security. The impact on workers' is further compounded by erratic scheduling, growing income inequality and a lack of work-life balance.

"We're pleased to see that many of our recommendations are included in the interim report," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier. "It's now crucial that these solutions be implemented in the final report, as the status quo is simply not an option for employees." 

The Special Advisors to the review commissioned research, conducted public consultations and considered input from employers and labour groups, including Unifor.  In its submission, Unifor made 43 recommendations calling for revisions to the out-of-date Employment Standards and Ontario Labour Relations Acts. Together these changes would improve the lives of millions of working people while boosting the economy as a whole.

Unifor proposed reform in three main categories:

  • Modernize employment standards to reflect today's increasingly precarious workforce
  • Increase fairness to support workers' efforts to join a trade union and speak with a collective voice
  • Expand the tradition of sectoral employment standards to address the specific needs of unique industries and sectors of the economy


"We now call on the Special Advisors, and the provincial government to use this interim report to initiate a comprehensive plan to tackle precarious employment, create decent jobs and build an economy that serves all Ontarians," said Dias.

Unifor looks forward to participating in the next steps of the review as the Special Advisors work towards their final recommendations.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, half of which are in Ontario, with 159,400. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative, Kathleen O'Keefe at Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell)

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