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On behalf of the 54 affiliated unions and one million workers the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents, we want to commend the government on its efforts to modernize Ontario’s outdated labour and employment laws.

We join with the millions of Ontarians who will benefit from Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, in congratulating the government for undertaking their review of the changing nature of work and for proposing a suite of improvements that aim to assist the most vulnerable among us, including those who are precariously employed.

For far too long, it has been clear that the changing nature of work in Ontario has increasingly left far too many workers and their families behind – with the laws failing to recognize and protect workers in precarious employment situations.

The introduction of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act is a result of many hard-fought struggles and the collective voice of millions demanding immediate action to modernize our labour and employment laws.

There is still, however, more work to be done.

This legislation has the potential to greatly improve and positively impact the lives of Ontario’s working people today and for generations to come. Through the provisions outlined in Bill 148, Ontario workers will make significant gains in the world of work. This includes progress towards implementing a $15 general minimum wage; mandating equal pay for equal work for temp agency and part-time workers; introducing improved scheduling practices; expanding just cause protection for unionized workers; facilitating workers’ right to join a union when an employer contravenes labour laws and removing the restriction for workers to return to work after a strike.

The government must ensure that this legislation does in fact succeed in its overarching and stated objectives: raising the standard of work and improving the lives of Ontario workers and their families.

The Ontario Federation of Labour is pleased to advance and advocate for amendments to the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act that will contribute to a legislative framework for decent work in the province.

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