What bad bosses are getting away with these days is frightening. On a daily basis, we get calls to our hotline from workers only being able to get jobs through temp agencies, working for years as perma temps and being paid lower wages, even though they may be doing the same work as directly hired workers. Temp workers are asked to do the most dangerous tasks because companies are not held financially responsible under the WSIB, as this Macleans article explains. We also get calls from workers routinely denied basic labour rights and protections because the boss tells them they are self-employed. In many cases, workers are not even paid their wages at the end of the week. Workers are tricked instead of treated to the rights that everyone deserves.
While the situation for workers in precarious jobs is grim, our community leadership programs keep giving hope to more workers. Our fundraiser with the OEERC, the Workers’ Bowl, funds education for workers to become leaders in our communities. Workers in our programs share workers’ rights information with many people in their neighbourhoods. Workers learn how to defend themselves and how to fight back when things get pretty terrifying at work!
It’s scary enough when your boss refuses to respect your rights, but it gets worse when the Ontario government lets you down, too. In 2018 workers finally won new rights under Bill 148, but the Ford government quickly snatched away many of those new protections like 2 paid sick days and equal pay for equal work rules. They even weakened long-standing protections around excessive hours of work and overtime pay. Cuts to the Ministry of Labour have now left behind only the ghost of labour law enforcement. Mix all of that together and we have a witch’s brew for disaster.
Please support workers’ leadership programs. Donate today.
No amount is too small or too large.
In this climate, leadership and education programs are crucial to raising awareness and protecting the rights we have left. Stories start to come out about being injured at work, or fired for having to stay home sick, or their family member who never gets a day off work. Suddenly, there’s hope because the community knows they still have rights, and that they can still find support at the Workers’ Action Centre to solve their workplace problems. Every bit of support you can give to the Workers’ Bowl helps make our leaders that much stronger.
Workers of all ages, speaking different languages and working in all types of sectors can turn to the Workers’ Action Centre for a firm foundation in learning and defending our rights. That’s thanks to generous donations from supporters like you. Please make a donation of any size (tax receipts available for donations of $10 or more) to help strengthen our communities through the leadership of workers.
*The Ontario Employment Education & Research Centre (OEERC) supports community leadership development, which strengthens the ability of diverse communities to know and protect their rights at work. 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.