Building Decent Jobs from the Ground Up
New report by Workers’ Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services responds to the Ministry of Labour’s Changing Workplace Review Interim Report. Special Advisors are accepting submissions until October 14, 2016. Please consider endorsing this report in your submission, click here to download a sample letter that you can edit.
Submission to the Changing Workplaces Review on Personal Emergency Leave
Workers' Action Centre, in association with Parkdale Community Legal Services, calls on the Ontario government to make Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) accessible to all workers. Ministry of Labour is accepting submissions on PEL until August 31 as part of the Changing Workplaces Review. Due to the exemption of small workplaces from existing PEL provisions, currently one in three workers in Ontario risk losing their job for taking a single unpaid day off to rest while sick or take care of a loved one.
Closing the Gender Wage Gap Submission
Workers' Action Centre, in association with Parkdale Community Legal Services, prepared recommendations for Ontario government's Closing the Gender Gap Consultation.
Executive Summary: Still Working On The Edge
An executive summary is now available for Still Working on the Edge: Rebuilding Decent Jobs from the Ground Up. The Ontario government has launched a review of the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act to address "the changing nature of modern workplaces”. Building on previous research, Workers’ Action Centre members spent the past year identifying key problems workers are facing in the labour market and developing priorities for change. This report brings workers’ voices, experiences and recommendations to this conversation, contributing knowledge that will be essential to updating Ontario’s labour legislation from the ground up.
Sill Working on the Edge
The Ontario government has launched a review of the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act, during which it will undertake “consultations on the changing nature of modern workplaces”. Members of the Workers’ Action Centre have spent the past year, building upon previous research, identifying key problems workers are facing in the labour market and developing priorities for change. At this historic moment, WAC’s new report, Still Working on the Edge, brings workers’ voices, experiences and recommendations to this conversation, contributing knowledge that will be essential to updating Ontario’s labour legislation from the ground up.
Backgrounder on Bill18
October 24, 2014 - Thanks to pressure from workers and the public, the Ontario government has re-introduced legislation that takes some important steps to improve working conditions for people in low wage and insecure employment. Many of these changes are good for workers. But more can and must be done to truly bring fairness to our workplaces. We need your help to make sure that Bill 18 is strengthened and passed.
Strengthening the "Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act" (Bill 146)
December 16, 2013 - Bill 146 was introduced on December 4, 2013. Bill 146 provides legislative support for temporary agency workers and begins to address protections required by migrant workers. The Workers' Action Centre and the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change produced this summary of the bill and recommend the following changes to strengthen the legislation.
Submission to the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel
October 24, 2013 - In this joint submission to the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel, WAC joins with Parkdale Community Legal Services and Freedom 90 in calling on the government to raise the Ontario minimum wage to $14/hour.
Feedback on Law Commission of Ontario Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work: Interim Report
September 25, 2012 - The Law Commission of Ontario Interim Report to the Ontario government contains many strong recommendations to protect people in precarious work. However, there are some key issues that still need to be addressed to more fully address precarious work and better protect those made vulnerable. (WAC and Parkdale Community Legal Services)
Deputation to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills re: Bill 77 – Fairness for Employees Act
June 7, 2012 - Getting rid of barriers to unionize is an important way to improve low-wage, precarious jobs. WAC and Parkdale Community Legal Services presented a joint deputation in support of Bill 77 and its proposed changes to the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA).
Unpaid Wages, Unprotected Workers: A Survey of Employment Standards Violations
Based on a survey of 520 workers in low-wage and precarious jobs, this study demonstrates that the lack of protection in Ontario workplaces leaves many workers in significant economic hardship. It is a world of work where wages, overtime and vacation goes unpaid and people work at less than minimum wage.
Taking Action Against Wage Theft: Recommendations for Change
Action must be taken when an average of one in three people in low waged, precarious work face violations of core minimum standards. This paper details WAC’s demands to the Ontario government for updates to employment legislation and improvements to enforcement procedures to ensure that vulnerable workers are protected.
Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Schedule 9, Bill 68
WAC, in association with Parkdale Community Legal Services, oppose changes to the Employment Standards Act that will create more barriers for workers, while making it easier for employers to avoid paying what they are required to by law.
WAC letter to Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan with Proposals for the Pre-Budget Consultation 2010
"Ontario workers in low-wage and precarious work are already working on the edge and the impacts of the recession have been devastating. Working long hours at two or more low-wage jobs with no benefits or protection against violations of basic labour standards, working families cannot tighten their belts any further."
Proposed Amendments to Bill 210, An Act to protect foreign nationals employed as live-in caregivers
WAC, in association with Parkdale Community Legal Services and the Caregivers’ Action Centre, recommended important amendments to Bill 210 - and pushed to extend these protections to workers under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
Submission to the Ministry of Labour Consultation on Foreign and Resident Employment Recruitment in Ontario
WAC, in association with the Caregivers' Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services, prepared recommendations to update employment standards to protect these vulnerable workers. Regulating recruitment practices and employment of foreign workers is essential. However, there are many other issues that need to be addressed to reduce the barriers that foreign temporary workers face in accessing their employment standards rights.
Proposed Amendments to Bill 139 - An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000
The Workers’ Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services are recommending important amendments to Bill 139 to ensure that the Bill achieves its goal of fairness and protection for temporary agency workers.
Submission to the Ontario Government Consultation on Work through Temporary Help Agencies
As part of the Ministry of Labour Consultation, WAC, in association with Parkdale Community Legal Services, has prepared recommendations to update employment standards to protect these vulnerable workers. In addition other means of protection are highlighted - the right to collective representation and real access to human rights, health and safety protection and workers’ compensation.
WAC Submission on Priorities for the Ontario 2008 Budget
In January 2008, WAC prepared a written submission to the Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan, on priorities for the Ontario 2008 budget. “Much can be done to move our province forward on a path that prioritizes productivity not low wages and effective labour market regulation for a strong economy.” Deena Ladd, WAC Coordinator
Working on the Edge
WAC's 82-page research report documents workers’ experiences of precarious work, and features stories from those who live with the grim daily realities of working on the edge. The report also proposes detailed and comprehensive policy recommendations, including reformed employer-practices, equality for all workers, amendments to the Employment Standards Act to cover temp agency workers, changes to minimum wage policy, and more effective enforcement of the Employment Standards Act.
Bill 161 to license temporary and employment agencies is not able to protect temp agency workers: comprehensive reforms are necessary
Late in 2006, the Ontario Liberal government introduced Bill 161 to licence the temp industry. In December 2006 WAC, in association with Parkdale Community Legal Services, prepared an analysis of Bill 161. Also read our editorial in The Toronto Star, December 18, 2006 “Province must tighten Bill to protect Temps”.
Working Yet Poor in Ontario: A Call for Fair Wages and Working Conditions
In March 2006 the Workers’ Action Centre worked with two community organizations, Campaign 2000 and the Centre for Public Justice, to produce this bulletin to raise awareness on low wages, work and what really faces us on the job.
Modernizing Part III the Canada Labour Code
In October 2005, as part of a Federal government review of the Canada Labour Code, WAC (in association with our partner the Employment Standards Working Group) prepared a submission calling for improvements. The Canada Labour Code regulates workplaces under federal regulation - for example, railways, banks, airlines. Much of the Canada Labour Code dates back to 1965 – yet our workplaces have changed radically since then.
Effective and Enforced Employment Standards for Improved Income Security
In 2004-05, WAC participated in the Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults (MISWAA). We submitted this brief, in collaboration with Parkdale Community Legal Services, illustrating the need for a strong floor of basic standards and expanded protection for workers in unstable jobs in Ontario.
Breaking the Myth of Flexible Work
The Workers’ Action Centre had its early roots in the Contingent Workers Project. Their study and survey was conducted from October to December 1999. It was initiated to begin to understand the issues that face lower waged temporary workers, contract workers, self-employed and part-time workers, and multiple job holders in Toronto.