This time of year, we might see zombies, vampires and ghouls prowling about but workers have to watch out for bad bosses all year round. Every day, more workers call our workers’ rights phone line seeking support because their employer has refused to pay them. Even worse, many workers without status were working for less than minimum wage. With grocery prices rising 11.4 per cent last month, not receiving your pay is a terrifying prospect. The scariest part of the whole situation is thinking there is nothing you can do about it.
That’s why it’s so important that we keep teaching workers how to effectively reach out to their communities to let people know about workplace rights and that the Workers’ Action Centre is here to provide a safe space to learn how to bravely defend those rights. It’s funding through the Workers’ Bowl* that keeps the education programs going and workers growing stronger. Will you show your support?
Every day, our organizers on the phone line answer calls from workers in bad situations, from wage theft to workplace bullying to unsafe work. This year alone, we’ve received over 1,330 calls on our bad boss phone line, most often from workers like Eduardo who have faced wage theft. After several weeks of worrying if his former employer would ever pay him the $820 he was owed for drywalling work, he heard about the Workers’ Action Centre from someone else who’d experienced wage theft. Eduardo contacted us and worked with us to recover his stolen wages.
Like Eduardo, workers who call our phone line often feel frustrated and alone, without any clear path to justice. It’s crucial for worker leaders who have faced violations of their rights to reach out to others in their workplaces and communities and share information on where to get support. These educational programs support workers to proactively watch out for bad bosses, learn how to tackle wage theft, and protect themselves and fellow workers.
Funding from the Workers’ Bowl makes it possible to continue doing this vital work. Will you contribute today? No amount is too small or too big, and tax receipts are provided for donations of $10 or more.
*The Workers’ Bowl is a joint fundraiser between the Workers’ Action Centre and the Ontario Employment Education & Research Centre (OEERC), which supports community leadership development. All donations to the Workers’ Bowl will go to the OEERC Education and Leadership Fund for Workers in Precarious Employment to create collaborative community leadership development and educational projects with the Workers’ Action Centre.