$15 minimum wage and fairer employment coming to Ontario

May 30, 2017

The Canadian Labour Congress joins workers’ advocates celebrating today’s announcement that the Ontario government will raise the provincial minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, and reform the province’s employment standards and labour relations laws to improve fairness for all workers.

“Raising the minimum wage to $15 will support millions of Ontario workers – thirty percent of the province – who are currently earning less than that and struggling to afford basic necessities like rent, transportation, and groceries,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.

Unions also celebrated the announced changes to the Employment Standards Act to make it easier for workers to balance work and family commitments, and make ends meet, including:

  • Equal pay for equal work protections for part-time workers;
  • Fairer rules for scheduling, including a new regulation that will require employers to pay an employee for three hours of work if their shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice;
  • Access to 10 days of Personal Emergency Leave per year (two paid); and
  • Three weeks of paid vacation (up from two) after five years with one employer.

“The Ontario economy is strong and these changes will only make it stronger by supporting workers and their families to make ends meet, decreasing turnover, and increasing productivity,” said Yussuff.

However, Yussuff said there are still areas for improvement. For example, unions had pushed for shifts to be scheduled two weeks in advance, access to paid vacation to start sooner, and better paid time off for workers experiencing domestic violence.

Unions had also hoped the changes would go further to reform the province’s Labour Relations Act. Today’s announcement commits to extending card-check certification to three particularly vulnerable sectors – the temporary help agency industry, the building services sector, and home care and community services – but still leaves other workers open to employer intimidation during a union certification drive.

“There is still work to do, but we’re pleased with the changes announced today and hope this begins a process of further improvements for Ontario workers and their families,” Yussuff said.


Related Articles

It’s time for publicly funded health care to include seniors’ care

By Hassan Yussuff as published in National Newswatch The images, the stories, the experiences of our seniors during this pandemic are enough to bring a grown man to tears. In fact, it has. Even Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford has, at times, become emotional while talking about the conditions in the province’s long-term care facilities. It’s a dire situation right across…
Read More

Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with citizens of Hong Kong

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) stands in solidarity with labour unions, workers and citizens in Hong Kong as they battle for their democratic freedom. The latest escalation in this long-fought struggle is the recent introduction of national security legislation by the Chinese government which will allow Chinese state security forces to operate in Hong Kong. “Our Brothers and Sisters are…
Read More

Anti-Black racism runs deep but so does our commitment towards combatting it

Amid the horrific scenes coming out of the United States of continued police brutality against protesters in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Canada’s unions are expressing solidarity with Black communities everywhere, including in our own backyard. The fight against anti-Black racism and police brutality is based in the long, despicable history of slavery, oppression and colonization of…
Read More