Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

September 12, 2016 14:40 ET

Government Should Prioritize Ontario Workers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 12, 2016) - The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is pleased that in today's throne speech the Government of Ontario has committed to creating childcare spaces, recommitted to its Indigenous Health Action Plan, offered a hydro rebate for people across Ontario, and promised to create more good jobs for Ontarians. However, any job creation strategy must take on the recent, steep increase in precarious jobs: work that is contract, part-time, or low-waged work.

"Saying a job is a good job without mentioning the rise in precarious jobs across the province is not enough," said OFL President Chris Buckley. "As the government does its review of our outdated labour law and employment law it needs to acknowledge that all jobs must offer stability, and sufficient pay to the people who do the work. Ontario workers have been suffering from the rise in precarious work for too long already, and our government needs to offer regulations that encourage employers to create genuinely good jobs."

The OFL calls on this government to create more protections for worker rights and regulations that encourage employers to create full-time, well-paid jobs through the upcoming changing workplaces review. That review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for this government to create better employment conditions for workers across Ontario.

The government's stated commitment to create childcare spaces is one opportunity to take on precarious work in Ontario, by creating publicly funded childcare spaces. Childcare workers are some of the most precariously employed workers in the province and that a lack of public childcare services makes regulation of the industry and worker training difficult to regulate.

Access to childcare was identified as one of barriers to women succeeding in the workforce, and the OFL applauds this step to address the gender wage gap and follow the recommendations of the Gender Pay Equity Task Force.

The OFL urges the government to create those spaces as part of a childcare system, and create a wage strategy for childcare workers that makes it possible to make a decent living as a childcare worker.

"The government said it was going to reset to focus on day-to-day issues. There is nothing more day-to-day than employment standards and childcare. We urge this government, as it moves forward with its mandate, to consider that the changes it is making right now under the changing workplaces review will affect the kids who will use the 100,000 spaces the government is going to create, the workers who care for our children, and the parents who use the service," said OFL Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates.

The OFL calls on the Ontario government to stop the sell-off of Hydro One. Ontarians should be able to count on their government to ensure that the services they need most belong to the people, not companies that have profit as their only concern. While an 8 per cent cost savings on hydro will help all Ontarians in the short-term, keeping the utility public will ensure that Hydro remains affordable and in the control of the people who are using the service.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.ofl.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.

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