Nil Sendil

  • published COVID-19: AUProtecT in Actions 2020-03-22 19:53:19 -0400

  • Media release: Federal measures fall short for workers

    The full list of protective measures demanded by the Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign and Workers' Action Centre are available here.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Federal measures for COVID-19 still fall short in addressing the emergencies facing workers as economic crisis worsens for those in the most vulnerable positions

    (TORONTO, Mar 18, 2020) -- The Fight for $15 and Fairness and the Workers' Action Centre are calling on the federal government to ensure a weekly minimum payment of $573 for all financial support programs during the pandemic, whether administered through EI regular and special benefits, the Emergency Care Benefit or the yet-to-be released COVID-19 Emergency Support Benefit for workers who can’t access EI. $573 is the maximum weekly benefit under current EI rules.

    “The Federal government’s new Emergency Care Benefit sounds promising,” said Pam Frache, Coordinator of the Fight for $15 and Fairness. “But if it is administered along the lines of EI, providing only a portion of previous wages, it will be meaningless for the workers who need it most. Providing only 55% of a minimum wage is a disaster.” The Emergency Care Benefit announced earlier today is intended for those who must stay home from work for illness, self-isolation, or to look after children. 

    “Canada – and the provinces – should be following the lead of Quebec that is providing $573 weekly assistance for workers who must self-isolate,” said Deena Ladd, Executive Director of the Workers’ Action Centre. “Federal and provincial governments keep saying they will spare no expense to look after workers, well now is the time to put money where their mouths are.”

    “We have real concerns about the length of time workers will be without income,” said Ladd. “Workers living paycheque to paycheque can’t afford to lose a day’s pay, let alone a week’s pay. We need the federal government to waive the one-week waiting period for all EI regular and special benefits – not just for sickness benefits due to COVID 19.” 

    “Our centre is also being inundated with phone calls from workers who are saying they can’t get through on the EI hotline,” added Ladd. “This reflects chronic understaffing of our EI system. We need a dramatic increase in EI staff – and we urgently need information to be made available in multiple languages online and over the phone.”

    “There’s another potential crisis looming as well,” said Frache. “The government’s website says that applications for COVID 19 Emergency Support Benefit – the benefits that are intended to help those who can’t get EI – won’t be available until April with no guarantee of turnaround time for workers in the most desperate situations and who urgently need money now” 

    “One thing is becoming increasingly clear: this chaos – borne by people in the most vulnerable situations – stems directly from the absence of paid emergency leave rules at both provincial and federal levels,” said Ladd. “Had we had policy in place that mandated at least 7 paid days of emergency leave for all workers, provincially and federally, and had these policies provided for an additional 14 days of paid emergency leave during a pandemics like COVID-19, we wouldn’t have the financial desperation facing millions of people across Canada.”  

    “We continue to be shocked that no level of government has prioritized adequate minimum paid emergency leave days,” said Frache. “All the medical evidence shows that paid emergency leave policies of not less than 7 days, pay for themselves by allowing sick workers to stay home or look after sick kids, and by containing the spread of flu and other contagious diseases. In the context of coronavirus, paid emergency leave laws provincially and federally would have better protected public health – and bought the federal government time to roll out an effective, comprehensive plan to stabilize the economy.”

    “We continue to demand action on paid emergency leave provincially and federally, and we look forward to additional announcements that will ensure that long term and temporary measures provide workers with adequate financial support to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” said Ladd. “As we have been saying, there’s not a moment to lose.”

    -30-

    For more information or to arrange interviews:
    Nil Sendil
    Communications Coordinator, Fight for $15 & Fairness
    info@15andfairness.org l 647-710-5795


  • published COVID-19: Health Emergency Labour Protections in Resources 2020-03-18 15:56:30 -0400

  • published COVID-19: We need H.E.L.P. in Media 2020-03-17 20:28:42 -0400

    COVID-19: We need H.E.L.P.

    We are calling for immediate Health Emergency Labour Protections to cope with the devastating impacts of COVID-19, click here to sign our Canada-wide petition. These supports are the only way all of us will be able to follow the public health advice to contain the spread of coronavirus.

    But most provincial and federal leaders are failing us.

    Not a single provincial government has moved to ensure that employers provide 21 paid emergency leave days for all workers -- 7 paid days as a permanent measure and an additional 14 paid days during pandemics like COVID-19. Without paid leave days, too many of us are forced to choose between losing pay and going to work sick. In ordinary times, this is a terrible situation. But during COVID-19, it is a public health disaster. 

    send an email

    Click to share on Facebook - on Twitter - on Instagram

    That’s why we’re demanding H.E.L.P.:   

    • 21 paid emergency leave days
    • An immediate, non-repayable emergency fund 
    • Greater access to Employment Insurance
    • No worker left behind

    Sign our petition now, click here. Your email will be sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and your local provincial or territorial leader. 

    Remember, those of us who are least likely to have paid leave also prepare and deliver food. We work in malls and grocery stores. We clean offices and public buildings. And we care for seniors as personal support workers and in long-term care homes. We care for children as education workers, early childhood educators, and as live-in care workers without full citizenship status.

    Those of us who are federally-regulated, staff airports, drive buses and handle money at banks.

    We all need protection!

    Too many of us have neither paid leave nor EI. Ordering closures without income supports when we lose hours -- or our jobs -- will turn the current health emergency into an economic crisis. The Quebec government showed real leadership by announcing a living allowance of $573 for workers who need to self isolate. The federal government must also step up now to create a non-repayable emergency fund for workers who are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 and to enhance Employment Insurance.

    As we heard from Canada’s Chief Medical Officer, the window for containing the virus is closing. Every hour we delay in making it possible for all of us to stay home when sick, or practice social distancing, is an hour in which COVID-19 will spread. To read our full set of Health Emergency Labour Protections, click here.

    We need to work together to get H.E.L.P. Send the email now. There’s not a second to lose.


  • published Petition: COVID-19 in Actions 2020-03-17 15:42:47 -0400

    COVID-19: We need HELP now

    Cliquez ici pour le français

    Add signature

  • Media release: Government announcements fail to address the reality facing workers across Canada as COVID-19 pandemic worsens

    The full list of protective measures demanded by the Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign and Workers' Action Centre are available here.

    (TORONTO, Mar 16, 2020)
    As the effects of the coronavirus unfold, it's clear that millions of workers across Canada are losing income, losing jobs and are being forced to go to work sick.

    “It is simply staggering that in a context where millions of people could be infected with COVID-19, there has been no movement by the federal government -- or any province in the country -- to provide adequate paid sick days and job protection for workers who need it in order to stay home when they’re sick,” said Pam Frache, Coordinator of the Fight for $15 and Fairness. On Wednesday, federal health minister Patty Hajdu said between 30 and 70 per cent of the population could acquire COVID-19.

    “The disaster facing workers is being compounded by public policy measures that fail to address the needs of workers,” said Deena Ladd, Executive Director of the Workers’ Action Centre. “Hundreds of thousands of workers will be without wages as schools and universities close and as public events are cancelled. Neither the Ontario nor federal government has moved to protect workers in this time of crisis.” 

    On Thursday, the Ontario government announced that schools will be closed for an additional two weeks following March break. “But who will bear the burden of school closures?” asked Ladd. “Parents who work – including single parents – will be scrambling for child care while frontline workers will be under enormous pressure to sacrifice their own health to fill the gaps created by these closures.”

    “We are very worried about the health consequences for grandparents who step in to help with child care,” said Carolina Jimenez, who is a registered nurse and coordinator of the Decent Work and Health Network. “We have heard reports from Italy that the unintended consequences of school closures was spreading COVID-19 to the elderly.” 

    “In the context of a pandemic, we can’t rely on the usual sources of support such as grandparents or neighbourhood collective care,” said Jess Lyons of the Ontario Parent Network. “When education workers were taking action to protect our public school system, parents were working together to provide “solidarity camps” to ease the gap in child care. That’s simply not possible in light of coronavirus. Parents will need to stay home with their kids. And they desperately need adequate financial support to do so.”

    Early childhood educators are really worried about the impact of school closures in Ontario. “I'm a substitute registered early childhood educator for my local school board,” said Brandi Wilson who works in Sault Ste Marie. “I work every single day, but I'm not technically on a long-term contract. If my child care centre closes, I won’t get paid for those weeks.”

    Another early childhood educator, Laura Lepper, who works in a private, for-profit child care centre, has already used all her paid sick days as a result of an outbreak in her workplace in January. She is now facing the prospect of another two weeks of lost pay. “How am I supposed to pay my bills?”

    “What about the impacts on live-in care workers?” added Ladd. “Many live-in care workers are without full citizenship. They are already vulnerable because of inadequate employment protections. They will be under even more pressure to fill gaps in child care and household responsibilities. Who is looking out for the health and well-being of these workers?”

    As for Friday’s announcement by federal finance minister Bill Morneau, Frache said: “It is unbelievable the federal government has provided $10 billion for banks and corporations, but not a single additional penny for workers.”

    “The federal government’s decision to ease access to EI work sharing and waive the one week waiting period for benefits means nothing for the 60 percent of unemployed people who do not receive EI when they need it. We need an emergency fund for all workers who can’t get EI and who are impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19,” said Frache. “And we need to make it easier for workers to get EI by reducing the eligibility requirement to 360 hours. This is vital for the vast numbers of workers in precarious, part-time and contract work across Canada.”

    -30-

    For more information or to arrange interviews:
    Nil Sendil
    Communications Coordinator, Fight for $15 & Fairness
    info@15andfairness.org l 647-710-5795


  • published ACT NOW: Our children depend on us! in Media 2020-02-21 19:13:21 -0500

    ACT NOW: Our children depend on us!

    Three crucial struggles need our urgent solidarity. In each case, what we do over the next few days will shape the legacy we leave for future generations.

    Support Ontario educators - Feb 21!

    On Friday, February 21, 200,000 educators across Ontario will be taking strike action to defend quality public education AND decent jobs in our communities.

    This is historic - with all four educators' unions taking action on the same day. 

    Having exhausted all other options to protect public education, these dedicated people have no choice but to withhold their services. There can be no business as usual when our kids' education is on the line. The bigger the turnout on Friday, February 21 the better the chances we have of pushing back against the Conservative government's attacks on public services and workplace protections. 

    What you can do:

    1. Visit an educators' picket line or action in your local community. On Friday, if you're in Toronto, join the Community Solidarity Rally at Queen's Park, which begins at 11:00 AM (click here for more details). Download and print this placard to bring with you.
    2. Call or email your local Member of Provincial Parliament. Let them know you support educators and demand the government reverse the cuts.
    3. Show your support on social media. Follow #OntEdStrike and #CutsHurtKids. (If you also include #15andFairness it will be easier for us to retweet you!)

    Solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en

    Solidarity actions are continuing across Canada over the next few days. In Toronto, there will be an Indigenous-led round dance at Queen's Park on Saturday, February 22 at 12:00 noonTo RSVP and share on Facebook, click here

    To find solidarity actions in your community, this Facebook link is currently the best link we have (click here). Please note: the Feb. 16 date in this link is actually a start date, and solidarity is ongoing, so don't be confused. Once you've clicked the link, be sure to scroll down to find your town or area. If you don't see something in your area, ask around. Organizers are scrambling to centralize information, so be patient if an event is not yet listed. 

    Mainstream media reports the RCMP has announced they will be withdrawing from Wet'suwet'en territory. While this may seem like concession, as CBC reports, the RCMP's offer is only a partial withdrawal and it is contingent on the Wet'suwet'en allowing some access to Coastal Gas Link (CGL). It will be up to the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs to respond, but the crucial issue for allies is to keep building solidarity. The only reason the RCMP are even making this gesture is due to the determination of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs, frontline Land Defenders, and all those rising in solidarity across Canada. 

    Let's be clear: there can be no nation-to-nation talks with the Canadian government so long as the Wet'suwet'en are under any threat of violence from either the RCMP or the Canadian military.

    Wet'suwet'en territories are unceded. This means Indigenous title has never been extinguished and Canada has no legal or moral authority on Wet'suwet'en territory. Non-Indigenous allies have an obligation to stop Canada from illegally invading Wet'suwet'en soveriegn territory. To learn more, click here.

    Get on a bus Feb. 22! The People vs Conservative Cuts

    Buses are departing from across Ontario this Saturday morning for a demonstration in Niagara Falls at 10:30 am.

    This demonstration - led by the Ontario Federation of Labour - coincides with the Conservative Party convention. We must send a strong message to this government that Ontario says NO to the cuts to our public services and NO to the rollbacks of our workplace rights. Click here to find a bus leaving from your community. Please follow the instructions on the page to RSVP for your local bus to secure a seat. 

    Thank you all so much for your incredible support for educators, for decent jobs, for public services, for climate justice, and for Indigenous sovereignty.

    We especially thank you for understanding that we will never win decent work for all of us if we don't link our struggles for justice in the here and now. 

    See you in the streets!

     


  • published Show your love for workers! Stop wage theft in Media 2020-02-14 12:55:10 -0500

    Show your <3 for workers! Stop wage theft

    This Valentine's Day, we urgently need your help on a case of wage theft. 

    2 years ago, Isabelle and Nia filed claims at the Ministry of Labour when they realized their paychecks were not adding up. After investigating, the Ministry ordered Mankind Grooming to pay Isabelle $4952.99 and Nia $4036.87 in wages. 16 months later, Mankind still refuses to pay the workers in full and the Ministry has done little to enforce their legal order.

    This Valentine's Day, show your love <3 for workers and demand justice.

    CALL NOW: Tell Anka Miron, the owner of Mankind Grooming, to pay Isabelle and Nia in full! Dial: 416-551-1113 Click here to read the Toronto Star article with more details on Mankind Grooming's shameful case of wage theft.

    No worker should have to wait 2 years to be paid. Isabelle and Nia are owed thousands of dollars, and deserve justice now.

    Mankind is just one example of what Doug Ford's "Open for Business" Ontario means for workers. Since coming to office, the Ford government has reduced fines for law-breaking employers, frozen the hiring of Ministry of Labour inspectors and gutted legal protections for workers.

    Please call 416-551-1113 now to help Isabelle and Nia get justice. Let's send a message to every employer in Ontario, we won't let them get away with wage theft.


  • published Coronavirus and flu in Media 2020-02-11 13:50:13 -0500

    Coronavirus and flu: We need 7 paid sick days NOW!

    Since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Canada, the advice from public health officials has been clear: stay home if you are sick. But, for millions of Ontario workers who had their paid sick days taken away by the Ford government just one year ago, this is not an option. 

    Without the critical protection provided by paid sick days, the fear of the virus is spreading faster than the virus itself. The panic and misinformation is especially fanning racism and xenophobia, putting the livelihood of workers at Chinese Canadian establishments at risk.

    Today, in a Toronto Star exclusive, health providers are calling for emergency government action to protect workers and the public. Click here to read and share the full story.

    We need real government leadership to:

    • Implement 7 paid sick days for all workers!
      No one should be forced to make the impossible choice between paying rent and staying home when sick without pay. Lack of paid sick days means we force millions of workers into an impossible situation, and place them and the health of their families at risk.
    • End the requirement for workers to submit doctor’s notes when they use sick days.
      At this time of over-crowding, Ontario’s health care system does not need those suffering from colds and flu to be filling emergency or clinic waiting rooms, risking complications for themselves or contagion for others. Sick notes are a costly barrier to workers needing sick days, and a burden on our health care system.
    • Create an emergency, non-repayable funding package for workers experiencing loss of income due to the direct or indirect consequences of coronavirus.
      During the SARS crisis, we saw how workers in the service, health, grocery, and hospitality sectors were particularly hard hit by misinformation and racism. This meant job loss or reduced hours at work. All levels of government must come together to create this emergency fund to protect workers, especially Chinese Canadians who are being disproportionately affected.
    Shareable - Bring back paid sick days!Click here to read full text of the open letter.

    After taking office, the Ford government wasted no time in scrapping our paid sick days and reducing up to 10 job-protected sick days to 3, despite majority public opposition and against the advice of medical professionals.

    Now, with the safety of our communities on the line, Premier Ford must act just as quickly to bring back the public health tools we need to protect us.

    Ontarians deserve nothing less.


  • published 2019: A year of resistance! in Media 2019-12-20 14:30:51 -0500

    2019: A year of resistance!

    2019 has been an incredible year of resistance! Despite the Ford government's ongoing attacks on our rights at work, we protected important gains. We even made strides on the Canada Labour Code! Please consider making a donation to continue this important work! (click here).

    Together, we preserved important wins for Ontario workers, including:

    • A $14 minimum wage. This translates to a 27% increase from $11.00 when we first launched the campaign.
    • Annual cost-of-living adjustments. Starting in 2020, the minimum wage will be adjusted on October 1 each year to keep up with inflation.
    • Job-protected emergency leave for sickness & bereavement. 1.7 million workers can no longer be fired for taking an unplanned day off.
    • Better rules against misclassification. Now, it's harder for employers to pretend their workers are "self-employed" to keep them from accessing protections under the Employment Standards Act

    Over 2019, we continued the fight to protect workers against bad bosses. When a 5th temp worker was killed at Fiera Foods in September, we launched a targeted campaign demanding Premier Doug Ford implement an existing law to protect temp agency workers. Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act is a previous win that makes companies using temp agency workers liable under WSIB when temp agency workers are killed or injured on the job. When enacted, this law will save lives! 

    Following the broad public support we built in Ontario for our demands, nearly 1-million federally-regulated workers across Canada got new rights! 

    • The Canada Labour Code now includes 3 paid sick days (a first across the country!) and better scheduling rights. The right to equal pay for equal work and stronger enforcement rules will kick in next year.
    • PLUS: A $15 federal minimum wage - indexed to inflation - has been promised for 2020! For the thousands of federally-regulated workers earning a minimum wage of less than $12/hr, this wage increase will make a huge difference. Let's keep up the pressure to make sure the government implements this promise right away!

    2019 was a tough year, but we built resistance -- and solidarity.

    We joined forces with the Migrant Rights Network to push back against the politics of division. This was especially important during the federal election, when white supremacist leaders like Maxime Bernier tried to use racist and anti-immigrant politics to win votes. Instead he lost his seat!

    Finally, as a testament to everyone's hard work, Now Magazine readers chose the Fight for $15and Fairness as the "Best Campaign of 2019"!

    This award goes to you and thousands of other supporters who fuel this campaign with their time, energy and donations!

    Chip-in now to help us build on this momentum: click here

    Thank you again for all you've done to make 2019 a successful year.

    It's clear we'll need to keep fighting in 2020 to protect what we have and take on bad bosses everywhere. 

    We wish you and yours the very best for the holidays and for the year ahead.


  • published The occupation is over, but the fight continues in Media 2019-10-17 18:43:58 -0400

    The occupation is over, but the fight continues

    8 people were arrested and removed from Premier Doug Ford's office last night. They had the courage to put their bodies on the line to prevent more temp agency workers from getting killed.

    Ford had 8 people arrested
    Click to share on Facebook - Click to share on Twitter

    What did Ford do?

    Instead of signing existing legislation into effect to stop companies from hiring temp agency workers for the most dangerous jobs, he sent in armed officers to arrest peaceful demonstrators. This is the Premier of Ontario.

    Ford promised to govern for the people, but clearly he won't even lift a finger to prevent further workplace deaths. About our occupation, Ford's press secretary said "the actions demonstrated today are never justified." If five temp agency worker deaths -- two under his watch -- are not sufficient justification for action, what is? 

    We thank the occupiers for courageously taking action, to pressure Premier Ford to sign Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act into effect. We also thank the hundreds of people who came out to support the occupation at such short notice -- and the thousands who posted on social media to keep #OccupyFord trending the whole day.

    If you haven't, please send an email to the Premier to voice your outrage (click here), and ask your friends to do the same. Better yet, call him right now: at 416-325-1941.

    And, if you can spare a dollar, please make a contribution to the cost of the occupation by making a donation here. Thank you for your ongoing support!

    Check out the occupation coverage here:
    CP24
    Toronto Star
    insauga.com
    Global News
    CTV

     


  • published BREAKING: We're occupying Ford's office in Media 2019-10-16 14:47:12 -0400

    BREAKING: We're occupying Ford's office

    As of 3 pm today we’ve begun an indefinite occupation of Premier Doug Ford’s office at 823 Albion Road in Etobicoke (Google map directions). If you’re able to, please come as soon as possible!

    Join the occupation, spread the word
    Click to share on Facebook

    Enrico Miranda, the 57 year-old father of two, was killed on September 25 at Fiera Foods. Miranda was the 5th temporary agency worker to die on the job at Fiera, and the 2nd since Premier Ford took office.

    Since then, thousands of you emailed Ford, demanding action. We issued an open letter, calling on him to sign section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to make sure companies like Fiera are held financially responsible under WSIB for the deaths and injuries of temp agency workers. There has been no response from the Premier.

    We can’t sit around and wait for another death to happen. Because Ford’s Conservatives have refused to take action, now we have no other choice but to do this occupation. 

    #OccupyFord
    Get the latest updates on our action on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    Community and labour allies have begun this occupation to demand Ford sign section 83(4). But to keep this momentum going, your presence is crucial.

    If you are in Toronto, come as soon as possible.

    We will hold a gathering at 5 pm, and a movie screening at 9 pm. If you can, come prepared to stay into the night with us. ROUTE by TTC:  The closest bus stop is a 2-minute walk from the office, Albion Rd At Calstock Dr. You can reach it by taking bus 73C from the Royal York subway station.

    For our $15 & Fairness supporters across Ontario, you have an equally crucial role to play.

    The premier needs to know that our communities are watching him, and he must do the right thing!

    • Call Premier Ford NOW: 416-325-1941
    • Use the hashtag #OccupyFord to spread the word. We’ll be making regular updates on social media, so stay connected and get ready to amplify us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
    • Email the Premier now (click here), and if you have already emailed him, get your friends to do it.

    The legislation to stop companies from treating temp agency workers’ lives as disposable already exists. We just need Ford to sign it into effect! Help us make him do it.

    If you are in a position to make a donation to sustain this occupation, please make a contribution by clicking here. Every cent helps. Thank you!


  • published BREAKING: Premier Ford’s office occupied in Media 2019-10-16 14:42:04 -0400

    BREAKING: Premier Ford’s office occupied

    TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2019 – Community and labour leaders began an indefinite occupation of Premier Doug Ford’s constituency office at 823 Albion Road in Etobicoke today, demanding his signature on Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) to prevent further workplace deaths in Ontario. To ensure that companies using temp agency workers are held financially responsible for workplace deaths and injuries under WSIB, regulations were drafted in 2018, but still await the Premier’s signature to be implemented.   

    Today’s occupation comes following the death of Enrico Miranda, the 57 year-old father of two, who was killed on September 25 at Fiera Foods. Miranda was the 5th temporary agency worker to die on the job at Fiera Foods, and the 2nd since Premier Doug Ford took office.

    WHAT: A media briefing with community and labour leaders
    WHEN: Wednesday, October 16 at 5:00 pm (the occupation has begun, and will continue indefinitely)
    WHERE: Doug Ford’s constituency office at 823 Albion Road in Etobicoke
    VISUALS: Signs bearing the names of the five temp agency workers who were killed at Fiera Foods, flowers, candles, an oversized poster of Section 83(4) for Premier Doug Ford to sign, community and labour leaders who will share stories of how this issue impacts them. 

    “Premier Doug Ford has left us with no other choice, but to start this occupation today,” said Chris Buckley, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. “Had Ford implemented Section 83(4) of WSIA, companies like Fiera Foods would be held fully financially responsible for the injuries to temp agency workers. This tragic death could have been prevented. It is time for companies like Fiera Foods to be held accountable.”

    In Ontario, temp agency workers are twice as likely to get hurt on the job, compared to directly hired employees. This is due to an ongoing loophole that shields companies from the cost of injuries suffered by the temp agency workers they hire.

    “Legislation already exists to stop companies from treating temp agency workers’ lives as disposable,” says Deena Ladd, Executive Director of the Workers’ Action Centre. “All Premier Ford needs to do is to add his signature so it can be enacted. This is a matter of life and death.”

    Last week, the Ontario Federation of Labour, Workers’ Action Centre, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty and Fight for $15 & Fairness issued an open letter to Premier Doug Ford demanding he immediately enact of Section 83 (4) of WSIA. To date, there has been no response.

    Ford’s refusal to take action to prevent further workplace deaths in Ontario has provoked this indefinite occupation of his office today, with the support of Unifor, CUPE Ontario, Elementary Teachers of Toronto, Ontario Network of Injured Workers, and the Toronto York Region Labour Council, among other community and labour groups.

    For latest action updates, look for #OccupyFord on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    -30
    For more information or to arrange interviews:
    Nil Sendil
    Communications Coordinator, Fight for $15 & Fairness
    info@15andfairness.org l 647-710-5795              

    Meagan Perry
    Director of Communications, Ontario Federation of Labour
    mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

     


  • published Open letter to Premier Ford in Media 2019-10-08 12:41:14 -0400

    Open letter to Premier Ford

    RE: Urgent action required after fifth temp worker death at Fiera Foods 

    Dear Premier Doug Ford,

    As you know, on Wednesday, September 25, Enrico Miranda, a father of two, was killed on the job. As you also know, Mr. Miranda is the fifth temporary agency worker who has died on the job at Fiera Foods or an affiliated company.

    Shockingly, it has been almost two weeks since his death and yet we have heard nothing from you. You have chosen to remain silent, despite having the power to implement legislation that could have prevented this tragedy.

    Mr. Ford, this is the second worker killed at Fiera Foods under your watch. 

    Had you implemented Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act - legislation which has already passed, but simply needs your signature - Mr. Miranda might still be alive today.

    That’s why we are writing to you to demand that you immediately enact this existing law that will make companies using temp agencies financially responsible under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act for workplace deaths and injuries.

    Laws like this will make companies like Fiera Foods think twice before putting temp workers into harm’s way.  

    There’s no more time to waste, and we need you to take action to make sure this is the last temp agency worker death.

    Implement Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act - right now!

    We expect to hear from you right away, and certainly no later than Friday, October 11.

    Ontarians deserve to know whether their premier will stand up for workers – or whether he will remain silent and continue allowing companies to treat their workers’ lives as disposable.
     

    Signatories:
    Butterfly GoPaul, Resident Member, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty

    Deena Ladd, Executive Director, Workers’ Action Centre

    Chris Buckley, President, Ontario Federation of Labour

    Pam Frache, Provincial Coordinator, Fight for $15 and Fairness

    Logos of JFAAP, WAC, OFL and $15 & FAirness


  • published Take action: Not one more death in Media 2019-10-03 18:17:50 -0400

    Take action: Not one more death

    First we want to thank everyone who joined us at the rally outside Fiera Foods yesterday, where a 5th temp agency worker died on the job September 25.

    Click here to sign the petition:
    We're demanding urgent action from the Ford government

    With less than 48-hours notice, over a 100 people gathered to demand justice for workers at Fiera Foods, including community advocates, union members, and local residents.

    To pay our respect to Enrico Miranda, the 57 year-old father of two who was the 5th victim of Fiera Foods, we started the rally with a minute of silence. We also collected over a $1,000 to help the family with funeral costs. Please donate here if you can; it's the fund set up by Enrico's friends.

    When Enrico was killed last week, Fiera forced workers to finish their shifts instead of shutting down the factory. But when they learned of our rally to support workers, Fiera chose to cancel two shifts to prevent workers from seeing so much community support and learning more about their rights.

    This move is even more despicable because these workers were not paid for these last-minute shift cancellations. This cruel act is only possible because the Ford government rolled back the laws that would have protected workers against such last-minute shift cancellations.

    The government must act now to ensure the safety and well-being of workers at Fiera. Sign the petition now, click here. Help us pressure Premier Ford to close the loophole that allows companies to treat temp agency workers' lives as disposable. There is no time to lose.

    We're demanding stronger legal protections for temp agency workers and a criminal investigation into Fiera Foods.

    Citynews clip on the Rally for Workers at Fiera
    Click here to watch the CityNews coverage
    Click here to see photos from the rally

    Thank you for your ongoing support! Please stay tuned for details on upcoming actions against Fiera.


  • published We don't want to die in Media 2019-09-30 13:00:58 -0400

    We don't want to die

    Last week a 5th temp agency worker was killed at Fiera Foods, a food processing plant in Toronto. We’re filled with heartbreak and rage, because we know this death could have been prevented.

    Tell the Ford government to take immediate action:
    Click here to sign the petition

    Fiera hires 70% of its workforce through temporary staffing agencies in order to keep costs low. How? Because in Ontario, the cost of injuries to temp workers are applied to the temp agencies, NOT to the companies that hire them. For bad bosses like Fiera, the lives of temp agency workers are cheap. We need to: Make. This. End. Now. 

    Raise your voice to demand the Ford Government act immediately to close this loophole and bring in workplace protections to ensure our safety on the job -- click here to add your name. The legislation to close this loophole already exists, but Ford’s Conservatives need to enact it. 

    When Premier Ford rolled back the workplace protections we won previously, he gave bad bosses the green light to abuse our rights with impunity. There was no excuse for lowering fines for employers who break the law or allowing companies to pay temp agency workers less than their directly hired co-workers. Ford must reverse course now!

    Click to sign up for the rally -- Click to share on Facebook

    To send a clear message to the government, and put Fiera Foods on notice, we’re calling for a protest this Wednesday. Together with local community groups and labour unions, we will hold a public rally outside the factory where the 57 year-old father of two died. Please join us on Wednesday, October 2nd, at 3:00 PM at 50 Marmora Street to say workers at Fiera Foods are not alone. Click here to sign up for the rally!

    Can’t join us at the rally? Please take a moment right now to sign the petition to the Conservative government (click here). We are demanding that they: 

    1. Enact immediately the legislation (Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act) that make companies that use temp workers responsible for the cost of workplace injuries and death. Only then will companies begin to protect workers health and safety. 

    2. Make it illegal for companies to rely on temp agency workers for the bulk of their workforce, by:
      - Ensuring temp agency workers become directly-hired workers of the client company after three (3) months of assignment;
      - Providing just cause protection for a temp agency worker if, at the end of the assignment, another temp worker is hired to do the work previously done by the terminated temp worker;
      - Placing a 20% cap on the number of temp agency workers used by a company at any given time;
      - Ending all penalties or fees when a client company directly hires workers

    3. Restore the legal protections cancelled by the Ford government, including the right to equal pay for equal work for part-time, contract, and temp agency workers; paid sick days; fairer scheduling rules; $15 minimum wage; and more.

    Finally, we must also demand that Fiera Foods be investigated for criminal negligence causing death under Canada’s Criminal Code. This is the 5th death at Fiera. It is a crime.


  • Climate Justice = Economic Justice = Racial Justice

    Friday is an historic day as millions around the world take to the streets to demand urgent and meaningful action to address climate change and environmental degradation. Inspired in part by 16 year old Greta Thunberg who launched #FridaysForFuture, young people around the world are calling for urgent action to stop climate disaster. September 20 is only the first day of a whole week of actions culminating on Friday, September 27 with mass actions in Ontario, Quebec, and elsewhere across CanadaClimate Strike FF15

    To find an action in your community, visit the Climate Strike Canada website here. To find an action in Toronto, click here

    To RSVP for any upcoming $15 and Fairness events in your community, visit our Facebook events page here.

    We know we can only stop the climate crisis by transforming the economy and empowering workers to be part of the solution. That means migrant workers must have permanent resident status; existing low-paid workers in low-carbon jobs need higher wages, fairness, and respect; and better paid workers in high-carbon jobs need a fair transition to low-carbon jobs. 

    Let's make sure no worker is left behind as we transition to a just and sustainable future. 

    To do this, we need to stand strong against racism and xenophobia so that the global 99% can really unite to fight for the kind of world we need, want, and deserve. Afterall, there will be no climate justice without racial, social, and economic justice. 

    • To download posters and placards for this week's Climate actions, click here.
    • To download the $15 & Fairness Climate petition, click here
    • To download leaflets promoting the September 27 Climate Rally at Queen's Park in Toronto, click here

    Wherever you are across Ontario, find an action or join us on social media to help make decent work and fairness for ALL central to our vision for climate justice. 

    If you use one or two of these hashtags it will be easier for everyone to amplify your posts: #ClimateStrike #UniteAgainstRacism #15andFairness #FridaysforFuture 

    Don't forget to RSVP for -- and share -- any of our upcoming $15 and Fairness events in your community: click here to visit our Facebook events page.

    See you in the streets!


  • published Leaflet: Climate Strike (Toronto) in Resources 2019-09-19 12:59:40 -0400

  • published This election, join us to call out falsehoods in Media 2019-09-18 18:37:21 -0400

    This election, join us to call out falsehoods

    Yesterday, well known anti-immigrant leader Maxime Bernier got an invitation to the Federal Leaders’ debate. Soon his racist views will be televised across the country. 

    Take the #UniteAgainstRacism pledge by clicking here.

    Right now, it's up to all of us to call out falsehoods during the federal election and reject the politics of division. We can't allow any politician to distract us from the real problems of low-wages and inadequate public services by blaming immigrants or using racist rhetoric. 

    For the next 5 weeks, our friends at the Migrant Rights Network will be sending out Election Reality Check updates to keep us informed. Sign up for these updates by clicking here so you can cut through the lies and empty promises circulated by politicians.

    To give you a sneak peak of the Election Reality Checks, we are sharing below the one from this morning. If you see a fact you wish your friends and family members also knew, make sure to share it on social media using the hashtag #UniteAgainstRacism, and to stay in the loop sign up for future Election Reality Checks here.

     

    Election Reality Checks by MigrantRights.ca

    1. Refugees aren’t responsible for cuts to services or low-wages, the super rich are – Many people are feeling like they don’t have enough to take care of their families, or save for retirement. We are being convinced that there is not enough for everyone. In this climate, arguments that blame refugees for taking services are gaining traction. This is why we must remind our friends and family members that while refugees take very little the super rich in Canada have stashed $353 Billion in offshore tax havens, and nearly 27% of corporate taxes are unpaid. 

    Fact 1) Blame the super-rich


    2. Canada doesn’t take its fair share of refugees: 
    Of the over 70 million people globally forced out of their homes, Canada will let in less than 50,000 in 2019. That’s 0.07% of displaced people, despite Canada making up 1.36% of total global wealth (GDP). In Lebanon on the other hand, which has the world’s third highest debt,  1 in 4 people are refugees. 

    Fact 3) Canada doesn't take its fair share


    3. Canadian corporations profit from displacement: 
    People are forced to move because of war, “development projects”, persecution and climate change. Canada ranks as one of the top 15 exporters of deadly weapons, hosts many of the worst mining companies and is home to the world’s worst industrial polluting projects – the oil sands. No conversation about refugees is possible without accounting Canadian complicity in displacement

    Fact 3) Corporations profit from displacement

    Want to read on?
     Click here to visit the MigrantRights.Ca website to see the full version of this morning's Election Reality Check with all 9 facts.

  • published Placard: Climate Strike in Resources 2019-09-18 18:19:44 -0400