The long awaited Changing Workplaces Review Final Report proved a major disappointment today when after expecting major reform of Ontario’s labour law to make the legal right to join a union a practical reality for workers outside of traditional workplaces, the final report contained nothing of the sort.
“Rewriting Ontario’s Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act isn’t something any government can do every year or two so when it does happen, it makes sense to expect significant change” CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn said today.
“What happened to the major reforms that workers have been calling for with a virtually unanimous voice? What happened to card based certification, anti‑scab legislation, access to first contract arbitration and recognition of successor rights - they’re nowhere to be found. What happened to paid sick days for all workers?”
Hahn says if the government passes over these changes it will mean placing unionization literally out-of-reach for all those now struggling in precarious employment in Ontario.
Hahn says that doesn’t need to happen. Despite the failure of the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report to include much needed and long expected major reforms, “they can and should be included” when the government brings forward legislation expected by many to come next week.
“It’s just not defensible in Ontario to say that some workers will have better access than others to constitutionally protected rights like meaningful access to collective bargaining, that’s why it’s not unreasonable to expect the Ontario government will follow their federal counterparts and put these changes into legislation. That’s what I’ll be looking for and I won’t be alone,” Hahn said.
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with more than 260,000 members providing quality public services we all rely on, in every part of the province, every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.