March 01, 2017

Changing Workplaces Review update

With the February 28 Changing Workplaces Review deadline in the rearview mirror, its up to us to build the confidence of every MPP to make protecting workers a priority during the current legislative session.

In the coming days, the government will deliberate on which recommendations they will implement. A recent CBC news story suggests that many of our recommendations are on the table, but there are likely to be bad and mixed recommendations included in the final report, and of course, there will be fierce opposition from corporate lobbyists to any measures that benefit workers.

We believe the earliest possible date that the Advisors’ final recommendations can be publicly released by government is April 1. We will have to keep the pressure on  MPPs to ensure that government releases the report and tables legislation to support workers before June 1 (when the Ontario Legislative Assembly recesses for the summer). We need everyone to be calling, emailing and meeting with their local MPPs and ideally, presenting them with the signatures of hundreds of people in their ridings who want to see meaningful legislated changes to better protect workers.

The current political context makes it urgent that we step up our game and fine-tune our mobilizing efforts now, and over the next three months.

Support Food Service Workers at York University & U of T Scarborough

Food service workers continue their strike at York University and the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. They are striking for an immediate $15 minimum wage (plus increases each year of the contract), as well as fairness provisions such as paid sick time, fair scheduling, and respect at work which means an end to the blatant anti-Black and Islamophobic harassment so many have experienced. These workers — about 250 — are mostly women, workers of colour or newcomers. The average wage is a mere $12.41. If you haven’t seen them yet, watch these fantastic videos (Feb. 9 – 6 minutes and Feb. 22 – 2 minutes) that show how students, staff and faculty have come together to support these courageous members of UNITE HERE Local 75 who are leading the fight for decent work on campus. We can help these workers win by sending an email via www.York15.ca and by fighting for $15 and Fairness at all Ontario workplaces. If you want to visit picket lines or join a solidarity rally visit UNITE HERE Local 75 on Facebook or visit the Fight for $15 and Fairness events page here.

Ontario-wide Campus Outreach Blitz: March 15

Building on the success of the Campuses Love $15 and Fairness outreach blitz that took place on February 14, some campus-based Fight for $15 & Fairness groups are keen to mobilize again for Wednesday, March 15. (Click here for the great article in the North Bay Nugget that highlights the action at Nipissing University.) For the March 15 action, many are excited to use the Wall of Wages theme that highlights the wage differential between ordinary workers and the presidents / senior administrators of the college or university, or highlight the CEO salaries of big profitable corporations. (For pictures and inspiration, click here.) If you want to organize an action on your campus, please make a Facebook event and email us at info@15andFairness.org with the details. 

UPCOMING EVENTS: Join one near you!

There are numerous actions and events being organized across Ontario! Scroll down to plug into one near you. If you don’t see an action in your area, let us know how we can help you get one going!

TONIGHT! March 1

GUELPH
Precarious Work in the University Sector Town Hall
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Italian Canadian Club of Guelph, 135 Ferguson Street | Click here for a map
A growing number of people employed in the post-secondary sector – those who teach students, serve them food, clean and maintain university and college campuses, and deliver clerical and other support services – are now in precarious positions. That’s why CUPE is fighting back! Contact maclurelaura@gmail.com for more information.
Click here to register on Eventbrite.

Thursday, March 2

Brantford
Fight for $15 & Fairness Canvass Training
7:00 pm | Laurier Brantford Campus, CB100 | Click here for a map

Are you an advocate for your community? Join Alan Sears and the Laurier Brantford Fight for $15 and Fairness team to learn about community group organizing, effective outreach and why small groups can make a big difference! You will also leave this session with enough information to talk about the Fight for $15 and Fairness at a table, with friends at a party or over dinner with your family.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Friday, March 3

TORONTO
Volunteer Drop-In Hours
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm | 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 223 | Click here for a map

Speaking at the microphone or participating at a rally not your cup of tea? Calling supporters, entering data, arranging kits and outreach are just as important! If you would like to RSVP, please email 15andFairnessTO@gmail.com.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Saturday, March 4

OTTAWA
Beyond Borders: A Night of Feminist Resistance
5:00 pm to 8:30 pm | 320 Jack Purcell Lane | Click here for a map
Come out for an evening of feminist resistance to mark International Women’s Day with a community dinner, great speakers and performers! We have so much to learn from each other and we will build a movement beyond borders.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

HAMILTON
Action Day for Paid Sick Leave
11:00 am to 2:00 pm  | 35 York Boulevard | Click here for a map
The Hamilton chapter of the Decent Work and Health Network is leading the Action Day for Paid Sick Leave in the Hamilton Farmer’s Market. The goal is to reach out to those who represent the incredible diversity of the city to advocate for paid sick leave for all Ontarians!
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

TORONTO
Protest Against Islamophobia 
11:00 am to 2:00 pm | Nathan Phillips Square | Click here for a map
A group called the “Canadian Coalition of Concerned Citizens” is planning an Islamophobic rally at City Hall. Many groups and individuals intend to be present before they arrive, with messages of support, inclusion and love. If you can, please bring signs with messages supporting our Muslim neighbours.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Sunday, March 5

TORONTO – Glendon Campus, York University
Solidarity with Food Service Workers – Experience #YorkStrike
9:30 am to 12:00 noon | Glendon Campus, York University, 2275 Bayview Avenue, York Hall B108 | Click here for a map
Bring your family, friends and all your pressing questions about the current strike by food service workers at York University. There will be current students, staff and faculty on hand to show you all the ways you can help food service workers win a fair deal. You’ll also get to see what a #YorkStrike looks like, and to be a part of an exciting solidarity action! To sign up or for more information, email YorkStrike.ca@gmail.com.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Tuesday, March 7

KINGSTON
Know Your Rights! Workshop
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm  | AKA Autonomous Social Centre | Click here for a map
Protecting your rights in the workplace involves two crucial elements: knowing what you are legally entitled to as a worker and developing strategies for enforcing those rights. This International Women’s Week, come out for a discussion of both elements and to share stories about our experience working in Kingston. Light refreshments will be provided and childcare is available upon request at KingstonFightfor15@gmail.com.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

BRANTFORD
Passionate Letter Writing – Women’s Issues
7:00 pm | Laurier Brantford Campus, CB100 | Click here for a map
Join us for our first weekly Passionate Letter Writing Night. Each week we will invite a guest speaker to introduce an issue affecting our community. Afterward we will provide the materials and space to write a letter to people in influential positions, family or friends. This week, Hayley Moody will share with us about Women’s Issues and International Women’s Day. For more information, email lb15andfairness@gmail.com.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

TORONTO
Toronto-Wide Organizing Meeting
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm  | 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 223 | Click here for a map
Join us for our next city-wide Fight for $15 and Fairness organizing meeting! We know we have the majority with us, but we need to organize this sentiment and put pressure on our MPPs to make sure we get the legislative changes we need in 2017!
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Saturday, March 11

TORONTO – Keele Campus, York University
Solidarity with Food Service Workers – Experience #YorkStrike
10:00 am to 12:00 noon | Keele Campus, York University, 4700 Keele Street | Click here for a map
Bring your family, friends and all your pressing questions about the current strike by food service workers at York University. There will be current students, staff and faculty on hand to show you all the ways you can help food service workers win a fair deal. You’ll also get to see what a #YorkStrike looks like, and to be a part of an exciting solidarity action! To sign up or for more information, email YorkStrike.ca@gmail.com.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

TORONTO – St. George Campus (Medical Sciences Bldg), University of Toronto
2017 International Women’s Day March
11:00 am to 1:00 pm | 1 King’s College Circle | Click here for a map
International Women’s Day has been celebrated for more than 100 years. In Toronto, this event is traditionally a rally and march and is organized by the IWD Organizing Committee, Women Working with Immigrant Women and social justice, labour, health and women’s rights activists. This event will start at 11:00 am with an indoor rally at King’s College Circle followed by a march to the Ryerson Student Learning Centre at Yonge/Gould.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Wednesday, March 15

TORONTO
Volunteer Drop-In Hours
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm | 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 223 | Click here for a map

Speaking at the microphone or participating at a rally not your cup of tea? Calling supporters, entering data, arranging kits and outreach are just as important! If you would like to RSVP, please email 15andFairnessTO@gmail.com.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Tuesday, March 21

TORONTO
Toronto-Wide Organizing Meeting
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm  | 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 223 | Click here for a map
Join us for our next city-wide Fight for $15 and Fairness organizing meeting! We know we have the majority with us, but we need to organize this sentiment and put pressure on our MPPs to make sure we get the legislative changes we need in 2017!
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here. 

Friday, March 24

TORONTO
Precarious and Political: Retail Workers’ Struggle and Union Renewal in Ontario Supermarkets
12:00 noon to 4:00 pm | Oakham House, Ryerson University | Click here for a map
Join us for this interactive afternoon session, where we’ll explore the outcomes of supermarket bargaining and contract negotiations in the context of broader union renewal strategies. We’ll also interrogate how these gains in collective bargaining intersect with building a culture of political activism among low-wage workers to combat precarious work, including through the Fight for $15 and Fairness movement. The session will include a panel discussion followed by facilitated table discussions.
For more information and to register, click here.

Friday, March 31

TORONTO
The Fight for Decent Work: Building Unity in the Era of Trump
6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | Central YMCA | Click here for a map
Kendall Fells is the national organizing director for the Fight for $15 in the US. This multiracial movement of non-union and union workers has won wage increases for 19 million underpaid workers, putting nearly $62 billion back into workers’ pockets. The Fight for $15 has also been a driver in the successful campaigns for paid sick days, fair scheduling, decent hours and so much more. Last November 29, just 20 days after the US election, the Fight for $15 instigated strike action in more than 340 cities across the US, to oppose deportations, racist policing, attacks on health care and to demand a $15 minimum wage and union rights for all. Join Kendall and other special guests for this important discussion on how we can build the Fight for $15 — and Fairness — in the midst of a polarizing political landscape.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.