Ontario Federation of Labour welcomes NDP action to strengthen Bill 148

 

(TORONTO, ON) – The Ontario Federation of Labour welcomes the proposal for amendments to Bill 148 announced today by the Ontario New Democratic Party.

“If enacted, these amendments would strengthen the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act and deliver greater fairness to workplaces across the province,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “There’s no doubt that Ontario voters want to see real action to improve the job prospects for current and future generations of workers.”

The vast majority of Ontarians support at least a $15 minimum wage – and many want to see a minimum wage that is even higher.  The OFL welcomes the proposal to remove exemptions to the minimum wage.

“That’s why eliminating the sub-minimum wages for students and liquor servers, as proposed by the ONDP, is a welcome amendment,” said Buckley. “Indeed, this amendment is an extension of the government’s commitment to equal pay for equal work and we hope it will be supported by all parties.”

“The OFL also welcomes the amendments that would remove the barriers workers face when trying to form a union,” said Buckley. “This important step must also include protecting workers against reprisals when they organize or when they exercise any of their rights under the law.”

The OFL urges all parties to go further to ensure that Bill 148 implements changes that support decent work across the province.

“Workers have been waiting far too long for these kinds of changes,” said Buckley. “Bill 148 and the amendments proposed today can start to make a real difference for millions of workers,” said Buckley. “But, as they continue to evaluate Bill 148, we hope the parties will go even further in implementing a vision for decent work.”

Along with community partners the Fight for $15 and Fairness, the Ontario Federation of Labour has been calling for the following changes to Bill 148:

Labour Relations Act:

  • Remove all exemptions to the Labour Relations Act.
  • Prohibit combining bargaining units where bargaining rights are held by different unions.
  • Combine bargaining units of franchisees of the same franchisor.
  • Provide greater access to workplace information.
  • Extend card-based certification to all sectors.
  • Provide greater access to automatic first contract arbitration.
  • Extend successorship rights to all contracted services.
  • Prohibit replacement workers.

Employment Standards Act:

  • Include dependent contractors under the definition of employee in the Employment Standards Act.
  • Strengthen equal pay for equal work legislation.
  • Prohibit parties from contracting out the minimum standards in the Employment Standards Act.
  • Remove sub-minimum wage rates and exemptions to the minimum wage.
  • Further protect temporary agency workers and further regulate temporary agencies.
  • Extend just cause protection for all workers.
  • Legislate seven (7) paid Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days.
  • Establish a designated leave for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence.

For more details on the amendments being proposed to the Bill, please visit ofl.ca and 15andFairness.org.

The OFL’s www.MakeItFair.ca campaign and the Fight for $15 and Fairness takes on issues of inequality in the workforce, and coincides with the province’s “Changing Workplaces Review.” The campaign calls for across-the-board changes to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act that would improve standards for all workers and make it easier for them to join a union.

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For more information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information contact:

Rob Halpin, Executive Director
Ontario Federation of Labour
rhalpin@ofl.ca l 416-707-9014

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