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Following a landmark decision by a Quebec tribunal, 10,000 home day care workers could soon be unionized, which would mean an immediate doubling of their wages.

The tribunal ruled last week that workers with the government-funded child care program who provide care in their homes are not independent workers. As a result, they are due the same rights as other child care workers.

On top of decent wages, the decision would mean home-based workers would also be entitled to sick days, vacations, holidays, employment insurance and pension plans.

The employer and the provincial government have 10 days to appeal the decision.

This is another ruling supporting the view that these home care providers are really employees. A similar issue is about to be decided in Ontario.

In 1996, a pay equity review officer ruled that three women were municipal employees and therefore entitled to pay equity compensation. Last fall Divisional Court overturned the tribunal, deeming the three independent contractors, not county workers. The women moved to appeal the ruling and a decision whether the case will be heard is imminent.