Changing Workplaces Interim Report a sign of hope for precarious workers

"I’m glad to see that the government has heard the cries for change, and am hopeful that they will follow through with concrete actions to address the circumstances of precarious workers.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (02 August 2016) — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) joined the larger labour movement in welcoming the release of the Interim Report from the Government of Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review yesterday.

“It’s no secret that many workers, especially those in precarious workplaces, are suffering,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The needs of these workers can be clearly seen in this report. I’m glad to see that the government has heard the cries for change, and am hopeful that they will follow through with concrete actions to address the circumstances of precarious workers.”

The report is the result of hundreds of submissions collected throughout consultations held last year with members of the labour movement, employers, and the public at large, as well as from community advocates from both workers’ and employers’ positions.

Report focuses on the lack of employment rights for precarious workers

It outlines the numerous challenges workers today face, paying particular attention to the plight of workers considered to be in non-standard working relationships which are not fully captured under current labour law. Many of these workers are involuntarily part-time, hired on a short term basis through temp agencies, contract workers, seasonal or casual workers, self-employed, or holders of multiple jobs.

“I remain hopeful that the review will come out with tangible changes that will help lift working people out of precarious circumstances,” said Thomas.

All workers need same rights and protection 

“It’s past time that we saw barriers to unionizing broken down, equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, and the same protection by the law for every worker," said Thomas.

The report is expected to lead to recommendations for changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA). The final review is expected to be released in the fall.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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