NUPGE condemns Ontario legislation attacking workers' rights

"Premier Ford has chosen to launch a partisan attack by introducing his Making Ontario Open for Business Act. Dismantling the previous government’s legislation means 'open for business' is really just code for shutting down workers’ rights and attacking unions." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Ottawa (26 Oct. 2018) — Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), is joining the widespread denunciation of the Ontario government’s introduction of the Making Ontario Open for Business Act (Bill 47). This act kills many of the worker protections passed last November under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148). It also reverses the modest gains made towards allowing unions to fairly organize workplaces, respecting freedom of association as prescribed by international law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Hammering the most vulnerable, putting profits before people

Brown challenged the Ontario government for hammering the most vulnerable worker,s leaving them in continued precarity.

“Doug Ford has decided to take away even the small vestiges of dignity from the most vulnerable workers by taking away paid-emergency leave, equal pay for equal work and scheduling rules. Not to mention rolling back minimum-wage increases that people desperately need,” said Brown. "To say something on the campaign trail is one story, as they court people’s votes, but after the election, it is not about the well-being of people anymore, it becomes about profit. No wonder people are discouraged by politics”

Unions and workers’ rights attacked, more to follow

After decades of living under the Harris implemented rules, which make it very difficult to organize workplaces in Ontario, Bill 148 implemented some modest improvements. Ford’s Bill 47 rolls back the gains on card-based certification and on providing information lists to unions. It also repeals the first collective agreement mediation and mediation-arbitration provisions established under Bill 148.

“Ontario’s labour legislation was long-overdue for an overhaul. Last year’s Bill 148 was a modest step forward,” said Brown. “Ford’s Bill 47 is a major step backwards and was done with no consultation with workers, labour organizations or the people of Ontario. The only ones applauding are those who are profiting off the anti-worker provisions in this legislation.”

"NUPGE stands with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) and with our allies in condemning this ill-conceived and regressive legislation," said Brown.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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