Thanks to years of hard work by WAC members and their allies, Bill 18 has been adopted by the Ontario Legislative Assembly.
The bill introduces changes that will help curb wage theft, better protect temp agency workers and peg the minimum wage to annual increases in the cost of living.
WAC members and allies made presentations to the government standing committee debating Bill 18, called the offices of Premier Kathleen Wynne, and sent hundreds of emails to Labour Minister Kevin Flynn.
As a result, the final text of Bill 18 includes two important amendments.
First, the measures making temp agencies and client companies jointly responsible for unpaid wages and overtime now include joint responsibility for public holiday and premium pay.
Second, we were able to reduce the implementation delay for the wage theft provisions from 6 months to 3 months, which means workers will be covered by the new provisions sooner than originally intended by the legislation.
While the bill – and amendments – are modest, they represent significant first steps toward better protections for workers. Bill 18 shows that when we organize together and make use of every opportunity to speak out, not only can we win improvements, we lay the foundation for changes down the road.
This is especially important in light of the Ontario government’s promise to review the Employment Standards Act and Ontario Labour Relations Act in the months ahead.
Although in this round, we didn’t win all the amendments to Bill 18 we were hoping for, we can use the momentum we’ve generated to keep the pressure on government going and to continue the public dialogue.
We still have a long way to go to make sure that Ontario’s employment laws reflect the reality of today’s workplaces and to make sure that all workers are protected, but the passage of Bill 18 shows that what we do makes a real difference.
Migrant workers: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers
An important speaking tour is underway as three migrant workers speak out about their experiences and about what we need to do to help improve working conditions for all of us. The tour features a live-in caregiver, a farm worker, and a restaurant worker.
Lets fight together to build strong, healthy communities for all of us.
WINDSOR – Monday, November 10: 6:00 pm – 1855 Turner Road
LONDON – Tuesday, November 11: 7:00 pm – Vitali Student Lounge at King’s College
PETERBOROUGH – Wednesday, November 12: 7:30 pm – Market Hall, 140 Charlotte
HAMILTON – Thursday, November 13: 6:00 pm – 267 King Street East, Volunteer Hamilton
GUELPH – Saturday, November 15: 1:00 pm – UC 103 at University of Guelph
TORONTO – Sunday, November 16: 3:00 pm – Beit Zatoun, 712 Markham Street.