Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

September 28, 2007 08:30 ET

Hampton Offers Solutions to Ease Job Loss Crisis

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2007) - In a region that has lost 6,900 jobs in recent years, workers are demanding that the Ontario government take action to prevent the further loss of good-paying jobs. Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton and NDP Candidates Rick Moffitt (Kitchener Centre), Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo) and Mitchel Healey (Cambridge) met with area workers to discuss practical and sensible things the provincial government can do to keep good manufacturing jobs in Ontario and assist workers facing layoff.

"Dalton McGuinty pretends the jobs crisis isn't happening. We need a government that isn't afraid to stand with working families and provide some leadership in the manufacturing jobs crisis. If McGuinty can raise his own salary by $40,000 he can find the time to help workers who are losing their salary entirely," said Hampton.

"It's outrageous that companies which have operated in the area for years and years are closing their doors virtually overnight, without ever discussing alternatives with their workers. We have to make it tougher to close down plants in Ontario, protect workers threatened with lay-offs, and increase our training and adjustment efforts," he said.

The NDP would introduce a number of measures to protect working women and men when they're laid off:

- Require longer layoff notice periods for mass layoffs of 50 or more under the Employment Standards Act.

- Mandatory joint labour-management adjustment committees for all layoffs over 50 workers.

- Have the employer negotiate closure agreements with workers before the notice period begins. Closure agreements could include retraining packages, severance enhancements, termination pay, early retirement, plant saving restructuring options including worker buyouts, and transfers to other employer owned facilities.

- Prohibit layoffs until one year from the day the Ministry of Labour is notified if there is no closure agreement in place.

- Double severance payments for employees who qualify - severance would be two week's regular pay for each year worked (prorated by month).

- Remove the current 26-week cap on severance pay.

- Increase funding for labour adjustment services.

"When a plant closes, it doesn't just affect the people who worked there. It hurts the entire community. We need to keep jobs in our communities and make sure that when a company shuts down, there's a plan for the working families," said Hampton.

Under the NDP proposal, a Job Protection Commissioner could also step in when companies face difficulties and engage in job saving activities, bringing government resources to bear on the situation.

Last week Howard Hampton announced the NDP's key commitment to put jobs first and ensure working women and men receive a fair day's pay for a hard day's work.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Ontario's NDP
    Robin Nieto
    (416) 591-5455 x490