January 01, 2018

$14 kicks in, onward with the fight!

Today, the general minimum wage increases to $14 an hour! And next January 2019, the wage will increase to $15 an hour. After that, the minimum wage will be adjusted on October 1 each year, to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Also, effective today: workers will have two (2) paid days of emergency leave and an additional eight (8) days of unpaid leave. A worker need only to have worked for one (1) week before being eligible for this new emergency leave provision.

The new law makes it illegal for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors. Furthermore, in the case of wagetheft, the new law makes it easier for workers to recover unpaid wages. 

Employers can also no longer insist on high heels for work, unless higher heels are required for health and safety reasons.

And it is now a bit easier for all of us to join unions, thanks to some important changes.

But make no mistake; our Big Business opponents are already gearing up to spread misinformation as part of their campaign to oppose decent work.

Challenge the Chambers
A vocal opponent of the Fight for $15 and Fairness has been the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), through its “Keep Ontario Working” campaign of fear mongering. This campaign has been roundly criticized for relying on out-dated and sloppy research methodology to make exaggerated and unproven claims about the impact of decent wages. Such claims fly in the face of seven decades of peer-reviewed research that shows rising wages do NOT cause job loss or price inflation.

Ontario’s public colleges and universities are members of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and give undisclosed amounts of money to the Chamber for its lobbying efforts. If you believe our public colleges and universities should not be associated with questionable research practices or campaigns that run contrary to the interests of students, staff and faculty, then please sign and send an email now.

 Sign the letter: http://fairnessnow.ca/

The OCC’s Keep Ontario Working campaign is backed by some of the most notorious Big Business lobbyists that include:

  • Temporary agencies and their lobbyists like: ACSESS, ADECCO, and Randstad;
  • Food, restaurant, hotel and tourism lobbyists like: the Canadian Franchise Association, Restaurants Canada, Food and Consumer Products of Canada, Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association, Food and Beverage Ontario, and Tourism Industry Association of Ontario;
  • Retail and grocery store lobbyists like: Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers; and
  • Information technology lobbyists and forest products companies like: Association of Canadian Consulting Businesses and Ontario Forest Industries Association.

As you can see, we will be up against some powerful interests in 2018. But we know that with your support, we can make sure that 2018 is the year we protect – and extend – $15 and Fairness to all.

If you haven’t done so already, please give to our Fight On! Fund (click here to donate) and help us stop the Big Business lobby from de-railing the $15 minimum wage and other important improvements in labour law.