Building a better working future: The USW and Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review

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In Ontario, full-time jobs with decent wages, benefits and retirement income are increasingly rare. In their place are too many low-paid, part-time jobs with minimal benefits or retirement income.

The USW does not accept this as inevitable.

Decisions by successive provincial governments to weaken laws and erode labour rights have not resulted in job creation and economic prosperity.

The USW is pleased that the Ontario government has begun a review of the province’s labour laws. The Changing Workplaces Review is considering the causes and effects of precarious work, and will offer options to the provincial government to respond to the problem.

The review held public consultations this past summer. Rank and file members of our union brought real-life experiences for the review’s special advisors to consider.

In September, the USW delivered a wide-ranging submission to the review.

We focus on the vital responsibilities of freely chosen unions, independent of employer control and with the resources necessary to engage in effective bargaining. They are the key lever for working people to advance their interests. We propose positive, practical reforms to provide for Ontarians:

• a truly fair method for people to form unions;
• a better balance of power when employers try to slash employees’ incomes and working conditions
• an end to the ‘race to the bottom’ in the contract services sector
• expanding the right of employees to engage in coordinated activity directed toward mutual aid, protection or collective bargaining

We also call for an overhaul of employment standards law to replace the current patchwork of exclusions and loopholes with a strong foundation on which all working people can stand.

The USW will continue our engagement with the review in the coming months. And importantly, our members will communicate with their MPPs to ensure that they are ready to move Ontario’s employment laws in a progressive direction.

USW Submission to the Changing Workplaces Review


For further information:

Brad James - bjames@usw.ca

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