June 12 is the provincial election. Candidates running for office will be asking for your vote and support. It’s a perfect time to send a message that we need decent wages and jobs – NOT poverty wages and temp jobs!
The election announcement means that the decent work bills to index the minimum wage to the cost of living, ban recruitment fees for all migrant workers and regulate temp agencies will not go through.
No matter who gets elected, let’s make it clear that we need a decent job agenda. It’s time we made our politicians take real action to create decent jobs and decent wages. Here are some ideas that will help working people:
Raise the minimum wage to $14
After being frozen for the past four years, the minimum wage finally goes up to $11 on June 1st, 2014. This is not enough! We believe that working full time should raise you out of poverty and not keep you struggling to pay bills! Raising the minimum wage to $14 would bring workers 10% above the poverty line which would be great first step. Then we need to make sure the wage gets indexed to inflation so that we don’t lose the value of our paychecks.
Regulate temporary agencies
Temp agency workers typically earn 40% less than their co-workers hired directly by the company. Agency workers receive less pay, fewer or no benefits, little protection against labour violations and no protection against termination. Despite their temporary status, agency workers often work for months and years beside workers doing exactly the same work. We want to make sure that temp workers receive the same wages and working conditions afforded to workers hired directly and that they have strong protections on the job.
Ban recruitment fees
In order to work in Ontario, migrant workers pay unscrupulous recruiters tens of thousands of dollars in fees; many have little choice but to borrow the money. This debt makes migrant workers – and their families – vulnerable to loan sharks and unprincipled employers and makes it even more dangerous for migrant workers to speak out. We want to make sure migrant workers are fully protected from poor working conditions and fees and that recruiters and employers are licensed and monitored. We need to build a better immigration system so that workers coming into Canada access to full immigration status, access to social benefits, protections from reprisals and meaningful labour protections.
Stop wage theft
All too often, Ontario workers work hard but don’t get paid. This is wage theft. Wage theft can mean: unpaid wages, unpaid vacation pay or overtime pay, unpaid training, not getting your tips or getting the proper wages you are owed because of your job status. Workers need more protection from wage theft, a stronger voice to speak up and employers need to face stiffer penalties when they break the law.
- Send a message to all 3 party leaders urging them to support a $14 minimum wage for all workers. Click here to send an email.
- Plaster the $14 minimum wage poster on every front door, every window, and every street post in your community. Download and post the $14 minimum wage poster.
- Join a WAC outreach team and help us get posters up everywhere and talk to residents across the city about decent work!
- Ask candidates in your riding if they support a $14 minimum wage and decent work when they knock on your door. Download a flyer with questions for candidates here: 2014 Election Alert