On May 1st, we were in the streets celebrating workers on May Day and demanding change. Today, we released an important new report calling for urgent action on decent work. Since the provincial election officially starts tomorrow, we’re making our demands loud and clear so that each political party can respond with a plan for swift action! Share From the Frontlines: An urgent agenda for decent work with candidates in your riding.
In wave after wave of the pandemic, the Ontario government left workers behind without adequate protections. COVID disproportionately impacted non-white racialized, migrant and low-wage workers. At the root of this disparity is precarious employment, which only worsened despite the recognition of just how essential the jobs of frontline workers are. Too many of us were forced to put our health and lives on the line.
Frontline workers refuse to face the same exploitation and abuse for another four years. Workers who kept the economy going without the proper protections have come together to demand legislative change to address precarious work, tackle inequality, and improve wages and working conditions. More and more workers are joining the movement and so can you! Sign up for a local outreach action or join the Decent Work Organizing Meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 7 pm – 9 pm.
Filled with the voices of workers, this report provides an overview of the key issues workers face today, and lays out the employment and labour law changes needed to ensure decent work for all. Workers’ Action Centre members, and the many workers who called our workers’ rights phone line over the course of the pandemic, shared with us how COVID not only highlighted the longstanding gender, racial and economic inequalities in our labour market, but also how the pandemic deepened those inequalities. These brave workers spoke with us about the problems they often face at work and then discussed the changes needed to address these systemic issues.
Insights from workers’ lived experiences led to the recommendations outlined in the report. We believe that the following changes will strengthen Ontario’s employment laws by closing the gaps and loopholes that give rise to precarious work; eliminating employer incentives to create low-wage, part-time, and unsafe work; and enforcing the law by implementing meaningful penalties when employers break the law. From the Frontlines offers recommendations for:
- Decent wages
- Decent hours
- Paid sick days
- Equal pay for equal work
- Laws that protect us all
- Real protections for temporary agency workers
- Make it easier to join a union
- Protection from unjust dismissal
- Make employers follow the law
- Status for all
- Ending racism, discrimination and workplace bullying
Workers’ Action Centre members have developed the comprehensive strategies outlined in this report that offer a pathway to decent work for all. Read and share the report, and invite your friends, family and coworkers to join our movement.