Smith Falls - Community activists, who are concerned that the Ontario Tories are about to take away basic protections, like the weekend and overtime pay from working people will be distributing information in Almonte, Carleton Place and Perth throughout the morning of December 9th. They will be alerting non-union workers that their workplace rights are being stripped.
The government has introduced new employment standards legislation that, if it becomes law, will increase the workweek from 48 to 60-hours and drive down overtime pay. Other Canadian provinces have introduced a shorter workweek.
The Tories are also proposing that overtime be averaged over a period of four weeks and workers will receive overtime pay only after they have worked more than 176-hours. Under the current Act, workers get overtime after 44-hours.
Those who will be hurt the most are vulnerable workers in non-union workplaces, earning low-wages. The Employment Standards Act offers basic protections for these workers and the Tories are stealing money right out of their pockets and putting it in the hands of employers, says Doreen Beath, a local healthcare worker.
The Tories are now ramming the legislation through the legislature, at breakneck speed, without any public hearings. Labour unions and community agencies have been demanding that public hearings on Bill 147, the new Employment Standards Act, be held.
Workers in Ontario deserve a full public discussion on any changes to fundamental workplace rights. But the Tories dont want to listen.
Workers need to know whats happening to them. Thats why were getting the information directly out to the workers who will be hurt the most if this legislation passes, says Beath.
For more information please contact:
Doreen Beath, (613) 284-8096
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications