TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - Unifor is urging the Ford government to abort legislation designed to strip workers of their rights and reverse gains made under the previous Liberal government.
"Bill 47 was born out of political desire to undo the work of the previous government, but Doug Ford is throwing workers out with the Liberal bath water," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, was denied its request to present before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at the only day of public hearings on Bill 47. In a written submission, the union stressed that current labour regulation is the result of a comprehensive Changing Workplaces Review process, which involved months of extensive stakeholder consultation backed by rigorous academic study.
"Bill 47 is political payback, propped up on the false argument that changes to modernize Ontario's labour laws to address the damaging effects of precarious and low-wage work are a barrier to economic progress leading to job loss. It simply isn't true," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi.
Unifor's submission provides evidence that higher labour standards do not damage the economy, showing that 40,000 jobs were created in Ontario in the first ten months of 2018. Read Unifor's full submission here.
Under Bill 47, the minimum wage is not expected to reach $15 for another six years, condemning even more Ontarians to the ranks of the working poor. The freeze will financially injure not just minimum wage workers but also workers in the wage tiers directly above the existing and proposed minimum wage.
"This bill is being rammed through, as evidenced by a single day of public input, but it's not too late for the Ford government to take a sober look at the common sense labour regulations that they are taking away from workers," said Rizvi. "The majority of Ontarians are opposed to the repeal of two annual paid sick days, the requirement for doctor notes, paying part-time workers less than full-time workers for doing the same job, failure to pay workers a 3 hour minimum if a shift is cancelled last minute and forcing people to work on a on a non-scheduled work day."
The union maintains that Bill 47 is merely a manipulative and hypocritical move aimed at delivering even stronger profits to businesses that are built around taking advantage of the most vulnerable in our society.
"Should Bill 47 become law Unifor will fight for every measure taken away from workers to be included in each and every one of our collective agreements in Ontario, including a starting pay rate of $15 an hour," vowed Dias.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: or to book an interview with Naureen Rizvi please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at [email protected] or (647) 448-2823 (cell).