Earlier today, 24 workers began an occupation of the Etobicoke constituency office of Ontario Labour Minister Chris Stockwell to protest new odious labour legislation that includes increasing the workweek to 60-hours, less pay for overtime and makes it harder for workers to join a union.
The Tory government has refused to hold public hearings on Bill 139 and Bill 147, the new legislation that will hurt all workers and their families if they become law.
Whats essential for workers in Ontario to understand is that these two Bills are an attack on everyones rights and protections in the workplace. But the government is intent on ramming them into law without meaningful public hearings. Workers have a democratic right to be heard, says Brian OKeefe the Ontario secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, (CUPE).
OKeefe points out that Bill 147 erodes the minimum protections for millions of non-unionized workers and Bill 139 makes it harder for workers to organize.
So the two pieces of legislation will be used as a double whammy to keep Ontarios workforce earning low-wages and without the protection of a union to improve their standard of living. Essentially, the Tories are striving to put money into the pockets of employers while keeping workers wages as low as possible, says OKeefe.
Several CUPE members were among those workers occupying the Labour Ministers office.
For more information please contact:
Brian OKeefe, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications