Let’s face it: low-wage, insecure, part-time work is no way to live life now, or build a future. But today, too many Canadians – especially younger Canadians – are having to do just that.
October 7th, the international Day for Decent Work, is an opportunity for all workers to reflect on our current situation and call for better jobs.
Here in Canada, unions say there are clear priorities: a $15/hour minimum wage, both provincially and federally, and an end to insecure working conditions.
“Too many new jobs in Canada are low-wage, insecure and part-time. Here in Canada, we can do better,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff. “A first step is a $15 minimum wage, because nobody working full-time hours should be living below the poverty line.”
Across Canada, the cost of living is rising much faster than minimum wage rates. That means every year gets harder for the 25 percent of all workers – some four million people – who earn $15 or less. Women and racialized Canadians are disproportionately represented in this group.
As for young workers, despite being the most educated generation in history, their unemployment rate is consistently double that of core-age workers. When they do find work, there’s a good chance it’s precarious – today, almost a third of young workers are in temporary jobs.
That’s why Canada’s unions are also advocating for better employment standards – like access to paid sick days and predictable scheduling – for all workers, including those stuck in temporary jobs.
“It’s about fairness. If we can reduce inequality and make everyday life a little easier for workers and their families, that has to be a priority,” said Yussuff.
“Instead of forcing workers into a race to the bottom, governments at every level should be doing more to make work fair for everyone,” Yussuff added.