• NAFTA needs an overhaul to improve workers’ rights

    In reality, NAFTA has been key to the transformation of Canada over the last two decades, enabling corporations to become ever more dominant economically and politically, while rendering our labour force increasingly vulnerable and insecure… NAFTA’s Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) mechanism… amazingly, allows foreign corporations to sue governments over laws that interfere with corporate profitability — even if those laws are aimed at protecting the public from, say, environmental or health risks.

  • The economic case for a higher minimum wage

    “The weight of evidence from the United States points to job loss effects that are statistically indistinguishable from zero.” … the growing group of minimum-wage earners, who currently comprise about 10 per cent of the workforce, spend a larger portion of their income than any other workers. When they make more, they spend more… higher wages improve businesses’ productivity by raising morale, reducing turnover and training costs and improving the quality of job applicants.

  • The ‘duty to consult’ Indigenous Canadians, and its limits

    “The duty to consult… is rooted in the need to avoid the impairment of asserted or recognized rights.” For a consultation to pass constitutional muster, it must be real and substantial. It can’t just be about collecting complaints and suggestions, and then ignoring them. The Indigenous community must be fully informed of the project’s details and consequences, and given the opportunity to respond. Depending on the evidence, mitigation measures may have to be taken.

  • Sears shows us the wisdom of defined-contribution pensions

    Critics of defined-contribution plans dislike the non-specific dollar amounts that would accrue to retirees – again, contributions plus investment returns determine eventual pension paycheques. But… defined-contribution plans are more realistic given they are linked with market returns. Also… defined-contribution plans belong to individual employees from the start.

  • Temp agencies on rise as province seeks to protect vulnerable workers

    It’s “like a huge warning bell to anyone who is concerned about (work) conditions and low wages and precariousness,” said Deena Ladd of the Toronto-based Workers’ Action Centre. “I think it’s a huge indication that corporations are shifting their responsibility to a third party for employment…” … “We seem to be growing into a society where agencies are proliferating, and these people are getting a little piece of everybody’s paycheques,” said Labour Minister Kevin Flynn

  • Bill 148 (The Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act 2017)

    The Government needs to hear that the improvements to workers rights are widely supported in the community. We urge you to make a submission to the Committee supporting in principle Bill 148 while seeking further enhancements.

  • Oh! What a Lovely Trade War

    Rapid growth in globalization has hurt some American workers, and an import surge after 2000 disrupted industries and communities… globalization has already happened, and U.S. industries are now embedded in a web of international transactions. So a trade war would disrupt communities the same way that rising trade did in the past… Also, the tariffs now being proposed would boost capital-intensive industries that employ relatively few workers per dollar of sales… [and] further tilt the distribution of income against labor.

  • New Ontario legislation ensures workers can take at least 10 sick days a year without a doctor’s note

    Bosses will be banned from asking employees for sick notes if they take 10 or fewer days a year under proposed legislation that would take effect next January 1. The measure… means fewer wasted appointments for doctors and allows workers to stay home and get well instead of spreading their germs around… the law will ensure all workers are entitled to at least 10 personal emergency leave days annually — two of which must be paid.

  • How business also benefits from the Liberals’ latest labour reforms

    Our unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent can’t get much lower; our economic growth leads the country. These are boom times for employers; but also precarious times for many employees… The beneficiaries of these reforms will be precarious employees for whom unionization has long been a remote possibility, and for whom legal protections have recently become more theoretical than practical.

  • Kathleen Wynne shows there’s nothing inevitable about precarious labour

    In Ontario, about 22 per cent of workers are now employed in some form of precarious labour, many in low-wage, temporary jobs. In the GTA, that number is around 53 per cent. Yet as the traditional perks of full-time employment – predictable hours, benefits, pensions, even the guarantee of minimum wage – have become increasingly elusive, the province has failed until now to intervene.