Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

October 07, 2009 16:30 ET

Ontario Federation of Labour: Young Canadian Workers Demand Canada Ratify International Convention Against Child Labour

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2009) - Today, young worker representatives from labour groups demanded that Canada's federal, provincial and territorial labour ministers immediately take action to ratify the International Labour Organization's Convention 138 on Minimum Age – the international standard dealing with the use of children in production or services.

"It is embarrassing that Canada is in the company of countries like Afghanistan, Burma, India, Iran and Korea who are well-known for their questionable child labour practises and have not yet ratified this convention," says OFL Executive Vice-President Terry Downey.

Matt Dumas, of the Ontario Federation of Labour's Workers Under 30 Committee, hand delivered a letter from the committee to Ontario Minister of Labour Peter Fonseca. The letter demands action on this country's 12-year-old responsibility with the ILO to ratify its Convention 138. The statement says that the Canadian government has taken too long in negotiating changes to non-complying legislation across the country.

Dumas's actions were co-ordinated with young workers around the country, as youth representatives in each province hand-delivered a statement to every labour minister in Canada. The Canadian Labour Congress also released a list of federal and provincial legislation which is in non-compliance to the Convention.

"We don't have to study this problem any longer," says Downey. "We want all Canadian jurisdictions to take concrete steps toward immediate ratification." The ILO Convention seeks to prevent conditions that foster child labour beyond doing light work under some conditions.

The national action is being undertaken on October 7, the World Day for Decent Work, which embraces the ILO notions of worker rights. The Canadian activities are among worldwide events highlighting the need for proper minimum labour standards, which are needed particularly during times of economic crisis.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Terry Downey (Ms.)
    Executive Vice-President
    (416) 578-3230
    or
    Ontario Federation of Labour
    Mike Belmore
    Communications Department
    (905) 308-4300
    www.ofl.ca