February 22, 2017 16:23 ET
Cafeteria workers -- many of whom make barely above minimum wage -- work for a sub-contractor at York University and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 22, 2017) - Sub-contracted cafeteria workers at York University and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus are on strike, fighting to end poverty-wage jobs on campus. The workers will hold a silent vigil in front of Queen's Park, holding picket signs showing their hourly wages.
Most of the striking cafeteria workers working for a sub-contractor at UTSC make $11.50 an hour, while most workers at York make $12.21 an hour.
As the provincial government considers a number of measures to address so-called precarious work -- low-wage jobs with little job security -- a growing chorus of community leaders and elected officials are calling on the universities and the provincial government to make a commitment to good jobs, so no worker on campus works for poverty wages.
The silent vigil is part of a downtown Week of Action the strikers have planned over Reading Week, when their university campuses are largely shut down. Earlier in the week, the strikers delivered almost 5,000 signed petitions to the Premier's office, calling for an end to poverty-wage jobs on campus. They also attended the Public Gallery on the first day of the resumed session of the Provincial Legislature, where they were introduced by MPP Peter Tabuns. On Wednesday, the strikers visited Community Councils across the City, where they garnered support from City Councillors in their fight against poverty-wage jobs on campus. Strikers are also spending several days spreading across the downtown, gathering thousands more signatures by residents and visitors to support their cause.
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