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Media Advisory

TorontoCommunity 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 the downtown core, and The Toronto Eaton Centre, at noon on 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 Brian OKeefe, secretary-treasurer, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ontario (CUPE).

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 OKeefe.

OKeefe will be a keynote speaker at a community rally protesting Bill 147 at the Toronto Eaton Centre, (Yonge and Dundas), at 12:30 p.m.


For more information please contact:

Brian OKeefe, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Ontario
(416) 579-7414
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774