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December 8, 2017

The OFL’s Make It Fair campaign stayed in high gear in 2017, from in-person meetings with MPPs to using online tools to make sure that MPPs knew how they could help workers when they made changes to Bill 148.

Here are a dozen ways we made a difference together in solidarity:

  1. In the lead up to hearings on Bill 148, the OFL held solidarity breakfasts in communities across the province to prepare activists to deputize and ensure that the views of workers were well-represented, and to ensure that MPPs knew how labour and employment laws could help workers across the province.
  2. On the day of hearings at Queen’s Park, OFL and Fight for $15 and Fairness activists packed committee hearings and the overflow room to watch the hearings and send a strong message that workers wanted MPPs to make decisions that would support them in their fight for decent work.
  3. The OFL continued a postcard campaign demanding fairness for all workers, where activists collected postcards, and delivered them in person to their MPPs. Thousands of postcards were delivered over the course of 2017.
  4. March 8, the OFL held a breakfast for female MPPs to talk about why decent work legislation is especially important for women. This all-party breakfast was held to emphasize creating conditions for decent work for women in Ontario.
  5. The OFL conducted a survey on precarious work and mental health, which showed that precarious workers are more likely to experience mental distress. The survey was reported on by the Toronto Star.
  6. In March, the OFL held a teleconference town hall, with over 1500 activists stayed on the line to hear about the movement for decent work.
  7. The OFL teamed up with Colour of Poverty-Colour of Change and wrote to Minister Coteau calling for a comprehensive strategy around the economic and employment disparities facing Indigenous workers and workers of colour. The letter was signed by more than 20 anti-poverty organizations.
  8. The OFL demanded changes to the Fair Wage Policy, which sets some minimum standards on wages and working conditions at companies that provide goods and services to government ministries in Ontario.
  9. The OFL wrote a joint letter, calling on the government to provide paid job-protected leave for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.
  10. The OFL developed a series of web tools to allow activists to reach out easily to their MPPs with emails and phone calls, and to deliver letters to the editor to local publications in order to combat the claims of anti-worker campaigners.
  11. OFL President Chris Buckley and OFL Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates published Op-eds in news publications across the province in support of decent work.
  12. As part of the Make It Fair campaign the OFL responded to a flawed analysis of the Bill put together by the pro-business Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), by bringing together economists to offer a more comprehensive analysis showing that a raise in minimum wage and fairness for workers would not lead to economic hardship in the province.

Many thanks to everyone who participated and supported the push for fairness in Ontario’s labour and employment laws.

Read more best of 2017:

Best of 2017 – 16 wins in the Employment Standards Act
Best of 2017 – 12 wins for workers in the Labour Relations Act
Best of 2017 – 14 ways we worked together for equity in 2017

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