Despite public outrage across the province, today the Ford government passed Bill 47, undoing many of the provinces labour laws, cutting wages for the lowest earners and eliminating two paid sick days for those who don’t have the protection of a collective agreement.
“Last week, Ford’s government brought in tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our province and, today, they are making life much harder for workers and their families. That’s just wrong,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario. “All across Ontario, workers and their families are struggling and, today, the Premier has made things worse. He keeps saying he is for ‘the people’ but, it is becoming increasingly clear, that is not the case.”
With today’s passing of Bill 47, workers will not only lose two paid sick days and the minimum wage increased schedule to come into effect on January 1, 2019, the Bill also:
- forces workers to provide doctors’ notes despite doctors saying it creates a costly burden on the health care system;
- eliminates the requirement for employers to pay part-timers the same rate as full-timers doing the same work;
- stops the requirement of fair notification of schedule changes;
- removes protections for temp agency workers;
- takes away protections against employers who try to exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors;
- makes it harder to join a union; and
- puts workers’ safety at risk by reducing apprenticeship ratios and removing a legal obligation that tied those ratios to rates of injury in all trade sectors.
Recent polling shows that 77% of Ontarians support paid sick days and fair labour laws. Over 65% support the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.
“The people of Ontario have made it clear that they have no interest in a government that exploits workers – it is shameful that Premier Ford refuses to listen,” said Rennick. “We need an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. CUPE Ontario will not stop fighting to make life better for working people.”