May 11, 2018

No time to lose for $15 & Fairness

The writ dropped on Wednesday marking the official beginning of 2018 Ontario Election and there’s a lot at stake for workers. More than ever, we need every person who supports decent work to speak up and speak out.

Here’s what you can do:

Ontario’s $14 minimum wage brings good economic news (contrary to Big Business BS)

The Labour Force Survey for March 2018 shows a continued trend of low unemployment and increasing wages for workers. In Ontario, compared with 12 months earlier, employment in the province GREW by 130,000 (+1.8%), mostly in full-time work (+118,000 or +2.0%). (Source: StatsCan)

Wages across the country for workers not occupying managerial role have been increasing at a steady rate. Workers in the bottom 20 percent and even the bottom 40 percent of wage earners have seen their wages rise faster than any other segment of the labour force. This can be attributed to the increased minimum wage in Ontario and Alberta. 

Big Business steps up its campaign against our decent work agenda

When Doug Ford promised to scrap the $15 minimum wage – currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2019 – the corporate lobby group Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) cheered. “Let’s see what the real and full impact of this fourteen dollar wage increase is before anyone makes any future moves to a higher number,” Julie Kwiecinski, CFIB Director of Provincial Affairs. (Source: CTV Barrie)

But we already do know that raising wages helps workers and the economy. In fact, the bulk of historical evidence (source: Globe and Mail) and the most recent economic data from Ontario confirms this. Unfortunately, the Big Business lobbyists refuse to accept the facts and continue to spread BS predicting economic catastrophe should the law force corporations to share their huge profits with workers. (Source, RankandFile)   

Only one party opposes the $15 minimum wage

One of Doug Ford’s first and few promises is to scrap the $15 minimum wage before it takes effect in January 2019. (Source: CTV Toronto)

Because the Conservatives have not published a platform, it is difficult to say with precision what else the party stands for. We should remember that Ford’s father (Doug Ford, Sr.) was the Member of Provincial Parliament for Etobicoke-Humber during the Mike Harris regime (1995–2002). One of the first things that government did was roll back progressive labour laws implemented by the previous government. The Harris government also rolled back employment standards, attacked unions, slashed social spending, eliminated rent control and imposed cuts to social assistance rates.

Knowing that a clear majority of Ontarians support the $15 minimum wage, Doug Ford is promising tax cuts for all minimum wage earners. But even this is still a bad deal for workers. Here’s why:

  • Two-thirds of Ontarians who make less than $30,000 annually already pay no tax thanks to existing tax credits and deductions. That’s over 3 million people. Under Ford’s plan, those earning minimum wage would forgo their wage increase while receiving no additional tax relief. These workers will lose the most under Ford’s plan. (Source: CCPA Ontario

  • Full-time minimum wage earners who do pay tax would still be better off with a $15 minimum wage than with the tax cut. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a full-time minimum wage earner would get a tax refund of $817 but would LOSE $1,899 in after-tax income. (Source: CCPA Ontario)

  • When wages stay low, then all other income support programs based on earnings also stay low. A minimum wage freeze means workers will receive less CPP (pension income), Employment Insurance income, termination pay and anything else based on our weekly wages. (Sources: CPP, Employment InsuranceTermination and Severance)

Vote for candidates who will protect and extend our workplace rights!

It’s up to us to spread the word about what’s at stake in the June 7 Ontario Election.

A government that claims to be open for Big Business will be less likely to defend equal pay, fairer scheduling (coming into effect in 2019), paid sick days and easier access to unions. Unlike corporations, we don’t have money to spend on expensive public relations campaigns. Nor do we own big media companies to spread our message.

But we are the majority. Poll after poll shows that over two-thirds of Ontarians support at least $15 an hour for all workers. We can activate our personal networks to spread the word, get informed and get engaged so that whatever happens on June 7, we are ready to protect our wins and fight for more.

JUNE 16 - SAVE THE DATE

The Ontario Federation of Labour has agreed to partner with the Fight for $15 and Fairness to promote a Rally for Decent Work on June 16 at 1:00 pm outside the Ministry of Labour at 400 University Avenue (Toronto). Saturday, June 16 is just over a week after the Ontario election, and we need to be ready to show that Ontario supports – and expects – a decent work agenda from the next government.

Wherever possible, we are encouraging community, labour and student organizations to book a bus to come to Toronto or, where a bus isn’t possible, to organize actions in your community.

Remember: no matter who forms government, let’s be sure to send a strong message to our elected representatives that Ontarians deserve nothing less than $15 and Fairness for all. Help us make this happen by joining an upcoming action in the lead up to June 16:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

If you are organizing an event in your community please send us the details by filling out this handy form so we can promote it.

Saturday, May 12th
TORONTO
Canvas at Jane and Wilson
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM | Coffee Time at Jane and Wilson | Click here for the map
Let's make $15 & fairness at work the deciding issues this provincial election! We'll speak to workers on the street, and at their doorsteps, about what this election means for our wages. 
To RSVP click here & to spread the word on Facebook, click here.

SCARBOROUGH
Leafletting
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM | Hong Tai supermarket- 2555 Victoria Park Ave |Click here for the map
Ontario election has been called by now, please join us for a fun action to do outreach in multiple languages, everyone is needed!
To RSVP, click here.

Sunday, May 13th 
TORONTO
Leaflet Blitz on Danforth
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM | 1188 Danforth Ave |Click here for the map
Meet us just west of Greenwood Station to spread the word about our new rights at work. No experience needed, we'll have colorful materials ready to be handed out.
To RSVP, click here.

Street Party: Mothers' Day Celebration
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Yonge-Dundas Square
This Mother's Day, join us in showing some love to the many live-in and live-out caregivers. Caregivers who take care of families, children and elderly in Canada deserve respect, fair working conditions and permanent status. Everyone (both caregivers and allies) is invited to Saturday`s street party!
To RSVP click here, to spread the word on Facebook, click here.

BRAMPTON
Workers' Meeting
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM | Terry Miller Recreation Centre, 1295 Williams Pkwy | Click here for the map
We are hosting a community event to talk about the issues at work that affect us all in Brampton. We will be inviting all of the Brampton candidates in the provincial election to come hear our stories. We want them to tell us how they are going to ensure decent work for our communities.
To let us know you're coming, click here.To spread the word on Facebook, click here.

Monday, May 14th
OTTAWA
All-Candidates Meeting: Ottawa-Orléans
7:00 - 9: 00 PM | Résidence Chapel Hill Retirement Residence, 2305 Pagé Rd | Click here for the map 
Join us as we put decent work front and centre on the agenda for the 2018 Ontario Election. We'll be asking Ottawa-Orléans candidates how they will ensure $15 & Fairness for our communities, come out and share workers' rights issues that you care about.
To RSVP, click here.

Tuesday, May 15th
TORONTO
Spanish Leaflet Blitz - Reparticion de Flyers

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM  | Jane & Finch, 3900 Jane St | Click here for the map 
There are still many workers who don't know about their rights under the new labour laws, help us get the word out. Aun hay muchxs trabajadorxs que aun no conocen cuales son los nuevos derechos que hemos ganado con el Bill-148, ven y participa distribuyendo esta informacion.
To RSVP, click here.

Decent Work and Health Network Meeting
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM | 720 Spadina Ave , Suite 202| Click here for the map
With election campaigning in full swing, we need more than ever to stand up for decent working conditions and wages as key social determinants of health. Join us! Learn more about the network: www.decentworkandhealth.org
To RSVP,
click here.

SCARBOROUGH
Southwest All-Candidates Town Hall 
6:30 - 8:30 pm | Warden Woods Community Centre, 74 Firvalley Court Click here for the map
Join us at this All-Candidates Town Hall Meeting. Help us hand out sample questions to ask candidates so we can make sure they support decent work. For more information contact Linda, 647-299-5387.
To RSVP, click here.

Wednesday, May 16th
TORONTO
Spanish Leaflet Blitz - Reparticion de Flyers

7:00 - 9:00 AM | Jane & Wilson| Click here for the map 
Join us for an early morning outreach to talk to workers about their new rights as they head to their jobs. Bien temprano nos reuniremos en la esquina de Jane y Wilson para compartir informacion importante con nuestrxs paisanxs que se van muy temprano a trabajar, acompañanos!
To RSVP, click here.

Bloor Subway Blitz
5:00 - 6:00 PM | Bathurst Subway Station (meet-up point) 
Join us at Spadina, Bathurst, Dufferin, Dundas West and Kipling stations for a subway outreach blitz. If you are planning to come email davidmobush@gmail.com or show up at the entrance of Bathurst Station.
To RSVP, click here.

WATERLOO
Waterloo All-Candidates Debate
10:00 - 11:30 AM | Lazaridis School of Business & Economics | Click here for the map
 
Campuses should be decent work champions! Want to know where Waterloo Provincial candidates and their parties stand on important post-secondary education issues? Join us as CBC's Craig Norris moderates a Waterloo candidates debate on the present and future of post-secondary education.
To RSVP click here, to share on Facebook click here.

OWEN SOUND
Public Forum on Workers’ Right
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM | Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre (Bay Room) | Click here for the map
The Grey Bruce Labour Council is hosting a public forum on Ontario’s new labour laws. Free event with finger food and soft drinks for the meet and greet. Come learn about our new rights and why they are so important to the health of our community. 
To share on Facebook, click here.

Thursday, May 17th
OTTAWA

All-Candidates Meeting
7:00 - 9:00 PM | Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Ave| Click here for the map
We need every elected official to be a decent work champion! Join us as we ask Ottawa-Centre candidates how they will ensure $15 & Fairness for our communities, come out and share the workers' rights issues that you care about.
To RSVP, click here.

Saturday, May 19th
TORONTO
Outreach Blitz in Weston
12:30 - 2:30 PM Jane & Lawrence, 1690 Jane St Click here for the map
We'll be canvassing to make sure everyone knows about Doug Ford's plan to stop the $15 minimum wage. We'll be asking our neighbours to pledge to vote for candidates who support $15 & Fairness and put up lawn signs.
To RSVP, click here.

Monday, May 21st
SCARBOROUGH
Party outreach at Victoria Day celebration
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Miliken  Park - 5555 Steeles Ave| Click here for the map
Let’s use Victoria day to some fun outreach with music and snacks. Afterwards we can watch the fireworks at Miliken Park all together. Co
ntact Linda 647-299-5387 if you have any questions.
To RSVP, click here.

Tuesday, May 22nd
TORONTO
Toronto-Wide Organizing Meeting
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM | 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 223 | Click here for a map
With the corporate lobby and their candidates are already organizing to roll back our labour law victories, we must stay organized. Come to the next city-wide organizing meeting in Toronto to help plan next steps!
To RSVP click here, to share on Facebook, click here.

NIAGARA
Know Your Rights Before You Vote
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Pond Inlet, Brock University | Click here for a map
Join Niagara Workers' Activist Group, Workers' Action Centre Toronto, and Brock CUPE 4207 for a free workshop on your new rights at work. Learn what the new laws mean for you and why we cannot take them for granted.
To RSVP click here, to share on Facebook, click here. 

Wednesday, May 23rd
SCARBOROUGH
Agincourt All-Candidates meeting 
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM |SPLC - 3333 Finch Ave E Click here for the map
Join us at Scarborough Speaks: Agincourt All-Candidates Town Hall Meeting. Help us hand out sample questions to ask candidates so we can make sure they support decent work. No experience necessary! You might also get the chance to ask a question. For more information David, 647-709-0328.
To RSVP, click here.

OSHAWA
On The Issues: Oshawa Riding Election Debate 2018

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM  | 50 King Street East  | Click here for the map
As the June 7 election date closes in, we would like to invite you to join us May 23rd for a nonpartisan election debate with candidates for the Oshawa riding at the Regent Theatre. Join us and help put the issue of decent work on the agenda.
To RSVP, click here and share on Facebook, click here.

Friday, May 25
SCARBOROUGH
All-Candidates Town Hall 
5:30 - 8:30 pm | Mid-Scarborough Hub - 2660 Eglinton Ave E Click here for the map

Join us at Scarborough Speaks: Scarborough Centre All-Candidates Town Hall Meeting. Help us hand out sample questions to ask candidates so we can make sure they support decent work. No experience necessary! You might also get the chance to ask a question.For more information contact Linda-647-299-5387.
To RSVP, click here.

Saturday, May 26th
TORONTO
Parkdale Outreach
12:30 - 2:30 PM Queen St W & Jameson, 1431 Queen St WClick here for the map
We'll be canvassing to make sure everyone knows about Doug Ford's plan to stop the $15 minimum wage. We'll be asking our neighbours to pledge to vote for candidates who support $15 & Fairness and put up lawn signs.
To RSVP, click here.

Summer Outreach at Woodbine
01:00 PM - 03:00 PM | 1867 Lakeshore Blvd E | Click here for a map

We’ll hand out leaflets, collect signatures and talk to residents about protecting workers' rights, the importance of the next provincial elections, and building our movement! Consider joining in even if it's your first time! We will meet by the large Olympic pool.
To RSVP, click here.

Friday, June 1st
TORONTO
Injured Workers Rally & March
11:00 AM - 01:00 PM | Queen's Park | Click here for a map

Between the province-wide Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign and the Real Healthcare campaign, we have organized across Ontario to force the Liberal government to respond to our demands. With Injured Workers’ Day coming just a few days before the provincial election, we have one more opportunity to show our collective strength and put all the Parties on notice.
To RSVP click here and share on Facebook, click here.

Saturday, June 2nd
SCARBOROUGH
Outreach and Postering
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM | Markham Rd and Lawrence Ave E 
The election is heating up! We'll be leafleting at the intersection and postering far and wide. Come and join our leafleting & postering teams as we talk with workers in Scarborough. 
For more info, contact David 647-709-0328.
To RSVP,
click here.