Our wages are stolen when:
- We are not paid for all the hours that we work, or we are not paid at all
- We are not paid minimum wage, overtime pay or for other legal rights
- We are wrongly treated as independent contractors or self employed
- We are charged a fee to get a job
Wage theft is unfair, affects our families and communities and keeps us in poverty!
$5.5 million saved for proactive enforcement
May 2012: Our pressure worked! The McGuinty government has reversed its decision to pull funding from Employment Standards as originally planned in the 2012 Ontario budget. The government has committed to restore funding to meet their 2008 Poverty Reduction Strategy promise of $10 million in increased annual funding for employment standards by 2013. This means we will see an increase of $3 million this year, and another increase of $2.5 million next year. The $5.5 million will go into proactive enforcement of Employment Standards. The government has committed to work with WAC and other community partners to develop a plan on how the money should best be used.
When we learned earlier this year that the provincial government was planning to cut $6 million from Employment Standards enforcement in 2012, we started mobilizing. Wage theft is at a crisis, and workers need protection from employment standards violations now more than ever before. In only 3 months, we were able to mobilize widespread support to reverse most of the projected cuts:
- Over 25 provincial organizations signed on to a letter demanding the cuts be stopped.
- Hundreds of supporters sent emails to Dalton McGuinty on this issue
- WAC members organized urgent delegation visits to MPP offices across the city. Many MPPs we spoke with recognized and supported the need to make sure workers are protected at work.
- WAC delivered over 3,000 Stop Wage Theft postcards –signed by workers across the province–to Premier Dalton McGuinty
This commitment to proactive enforcement of employment standards is a huge win for Ontario workers! Not only does it reverse cuts to funding, it brings the community to the table in determining how wage theft should be addressed. We want to thank all of you for your critical support to stop the cuts. Together we have won an important victory for workers’ rights.