Time to act before all jobs are part-time

TheStar.com – Opinion – Time to act before all jobs are part-time
April 15, 2009

Re: Failing economy creates a nation of part-timers, April 10

These full time jobs redefined as part-time will never come back, even with an economic recovery, without government action.

The nature of work in Canada is changing. The incidence of part-time work grew even in boom times and has been adopted by even the largest employers like IBM and GM, as well as retailers and professions like nursing and university teachers. StatsCan figures compiled before the current downturn show 23 per cent of Canada’s workers as part-time, contract or casual non-permanent employees.

Employer greed to enhance their bottom lines on the backs of workers, and lack of social consciousness, has produced two classes of workers – permanent ones with benefits packages, and part-time, contract, or casual employees who may work beside their full-time peers doing exactly the same work but with different compensation packages. This is discriminatory and the different treatments would not be allowed if they were based on race, religion or gender. This classification discrimination has led to giant legal settlements in America.

An equally serious problem is the heightened insecurity of part time, contract and casual work, which effectively blocks 23 per cent of the workforce from consumption beyond basic needs, thereby hurting the economy. It is time for governments to act before all employment becomes part time, casual or contract-based.

Bill Longworth, Oshawa

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