After years of advocacy, workers and their unions are on the verge of a significant first victory as the Ontario’s government announced sweeping changes to the province’s outdated labour laws.
UFCW Canada Local 1006A welcomed the proposed changes, which are anticipated to raise the standards for workers and families across Ontario in the workplace and at the bargaining table. The union is awaiting the full details of the proposed changes.
The Ontario government’s announcement includes a $15 minimum wage by January 1, 2019, two paid emergency leave days, guaranteed 3 hours of pay if a shift is cancelled in less than 48 hours, improved access to first contract arbitration, among other proposals.
“The reality is that governments do not act in a vacuum on their own, and the fact Premier Wynne made this announcement is a testament to the advocacy and solidarity of workers and their unions across Ontario,” said President Wayne Hanley.
Unions, like Local 1006A, have been advocating at Queen’s Park and through numerous campaigns over the years, to improve workers’ rights and livelihoods through legislative means. Through worker participation and support, unions are proud to bargain strong compensation packages, which include pensions, benefits and scheduling language, above the Employment Standards Act.
In the last few years, Local 1006A has anticipated the proposed changes by negotiating contracts for workers in Loblaws, No Frills, and YIGs, which accounted for potential increases to the minimum wage.
“The good news is we are making progress in making life better for Ontario’s workers, the challenge is there is a long way to go to achieving fairness for all workers,” said President Wayne Hanley.
Unions are calling for card-check certification for all workers and industries. While the government announcement of card-based certification for the temporary help, building services, home care and community services industries is a step in the right direction, it is not enough.
“All workers should be able to freely join a union without employer intimidation and card check certification is critical to building fairer workplaces and raising the bargaining standards for all workers,” said Hanley.
For a full list of UFCW Canada’s recommendations, click here.