Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

March 01, 2005 16:27 ET

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS LEGISLATION TAKES EFFECT TODAY

BILL 63 ENTRENCHES OLD TORY WORKPLACE RULES Attention: Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2005) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS LEGISLATION TAKES EFFECT TODAY
BILL 63 ENTRENCHES OLD TORY WORKPLACE RULES

Bill 63 - Employment Standards Amendment Act (Hours of Work and Other Matters) comes into full force and effect in Ontario today. "Although ending the 60 hour work week has been in news since this Act was introduced the reality is workers in Ontario continue to work not only 60 hour work weeks, but often more than 60 hours," says OFL president Wayne Samuelson. "The only difference is Ministry of Labour approval is now required after 48 hours of work instead of 60".

"In fact, the Act does little to protect workers and only entrenches the flaws of the original legislation brought down by the Mike Harris government in 2000.

"Workers are still being ripped off for overtime pay. This means after 44 hours, time and a half pay continues to be averaged over many weeks resulting in less pay. The government had an opportunity to remove this onerous provision in its amendments but failed to do so.

" Vacation days can still be doled out a day-at-a-time, people can still be compelled to work long hours for no extra pay.

"Labour Minister Bentley says the new legislation is about protecting workers but this Act will not accomplish that," Samuelson said.

"In order to protect workers, especially vulnerable employees who are in part-time or casual jobs, the labour laws must deal with the increasing polarization between workers putting in dramatically increased hours of overtime and the part-time, casual and contingent workforce wanting to work more hours.

"Employment Standards must not only look good on paper but in order to protect workers these laws must be enforced. The dismal report by the Provincial Auditor in December, 2004 outlined in detail the Ministry of Labour's failure to protect Ontario workers," Samuelson said.

More information:

Wayne Samuelson
OFL President
416.571.7408 (cellular)

Dana Boettger
OFL Communications
416.443.7665

cope343
/For further information: Dana Boettger OFL Communications Director 416.443.7665/ IN: FINANCE, JUSTICE, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Wayne Samuelson, OFL President
    Primary Phone: 416-571-7408