Canada's parliament resumed this week. Now's the time to step up the pressure on our federal Members of Parliament to immediately implement the promised $15 federal minimum wage -- and index it annually to cost of living increases.
Workers needed a $15 federal minimum wage five years ago. We shouldn't have to wait even one more day for the government to make good on its election promise.
What can you do?
- Click here to send an email to the Prime Minister, federal Minister of Labour, and opposition party leaders. (Many thanks to the Canadian Labour Congress for setting up this tool.)
- Drop by the constituency office of your local MP to let the staff or the MP know you want immediate action on decent work and wages. To find your federal MP, click here. Better yet - download and print this beautiful window sign and bring it with you. Take a picture with the staff or the MP then ask them to display the sign on their window or door. Share the picture on social media and tag us. Twitter: @FairWagesNow or use #15andFairness so we can retweet you!
We have a really good chance of winning a $15 federal minimum wage for workers in federally regulated sectors like banking, airlines, transportation, telecommunications, and more -- but only if we mobilize to get it. Make no mistake: the big business lobby is working hard behind the scenes to delay and discourage federal action. To win, we need to need to make our voices heard. There's not a moment to lose!
Let's stay organized in 2020!
January has flown by, but we are already organizing in communities and workplaces across the province. Click here to see and RSVP for events coming up in your community. For the listings on Facebook click here. And of course, if you don't see an event near you, consider hosting one! Email us for help getting started.
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!
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.
Instead of implementing life-saving legislation, Premier Ford had 8 people arrested last month. At the time, we were occupying Ford’s office in response to the 5th temp agency worker death at Fiera Foods, the notorious industrial bakery in Toronto.
Ford’s Conservatives have been busy trying to change the channel on the death of Enrico Miranda, who was the 2nd temp worker to die at Fiera Foods under Ford’s watch.
We urgently need Premier Ford’s signature on Section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to stop companies like Fiera Foods from treating workers’ lives as disposable. This existing legislation, when enacted, will make companies financially responsible under WSIB for the death and injuries of temp workers -- a more deterrent penalty than the current one-off fines under the Occupational Health and Safety Act which Fiera seems to ignore.
TO JOIN US AT AN UPCOMING ACTION
Now with the Ontario Legislature back in session, NDP MPPs (including Wayne Gates, Catherine Fife, Jessica Bell, Tom Rakocevic and Lisa Gretzky) have been demanding urgent action on a daily basis to protect temp agency workers. Shamefully, Premier Doug Ford and Labour Minister Monte MacNaughton have offered no response on why they are delaying.
With your help, we pressured Fiera Foods to show their workers some respect. Now let’s get Ford to do the same! When Enrico Miranda was killed, Fiera refused to stop production. But when we held a rally outside the factory to call for justice, they cancelled workers’ shifts without pay. Thanks to our public shaming campaign, the company has now paid workers for these shifts (a first), apologized to them for not stopping production (also a first) and even held a moment of silence.
To ensure the safety of Fiera Foods workers, and every temp agency worker across Ontario, we must keep up the pressure! Temp workers are twice as likely to get injured on the job because of an ongoing loophole in our laws, which Ford can close with the stroke of a pen. Learn why Section 83(4) is so crucial by reading this excellent op-ed in Maclean’s by Deena Ladd, who is one of the 8 people who got arrested while demanding Ford’s signature.
Thanks for your ongoing support! Please join us at an upcoming action to keep building pressure! Can’t join in person? Call Premier Ford now 416-325-1941, to demand his signature on Section 83(4).
Thursday, November 14th
BEAMSVILLE, Communities not cuts rally
11 AM | 4961 King St
Click here to RSVP on Facebook
Thursday, November 14th
ETOBICOKE, Rally at Doug Ford's office
12 PM - 2 PM | Doug Ford's constituency office
Click here to RSVP on Facebook
Monday, November 18th
TORONTO, Flu Fighter Outreach in support of Paid Sick Days
12 PM - 1:30 PM | South-west corner of University Ave and College
Click here to register or share on Facebook
Tuesday, November 19th
TORONTO, Organizing Meeting
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM | 720 Spadina Ave Unit 223
Click here to register or share on Facebook
Tuesday, November 19th
OTTAWA, Organizing Meeting
6 PM - 7:30 PM | Centretown Community Health Centre
Click here to register or share on Facebook
Wednesday, November 20th
ETOBICOKE, Know Your Rights Workshop
6 PM - 8 PM | LAMP Community Center RM 301
Click here to register or share on Facebook
Thursday, November 21st
NORTH BAY, Know Your Rights Workshop
12 PM - 6 PM | 222 McIntyre St W, Unit 105
Register by contacting 1-866-470-2173 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info click here.
Saturday, November 23rd
SCARBOROUGH, Know your Rights Workshop
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM | Scarborough Civic Centre. Committee Room 1
Click here to RSVP or share on Facebook
With the federal election wrapped and a new batch of MPs representing us in Ottawa, we now have even more opportunities to advance a decent work agenda federally. But of course, nothing is ever certain; if we want to take advantage of the new political terrain, we'll have to keep fighting for our rights and - crucially - for unity. To see why, it's worth taking stock of what we accomplished together during the past election.
Thanks to all of you, the majority of elected Members of Parliament support a $15 minimum wage – and by 2020 no less! A $15 federal minimum wage will be crucial for airport workers, bank workers and many others – especially in provinces where the minimum wage hovers around $11.00 an hour. We should move quickly to remind MPs of this promise. If implemented, a $15 federal minimum wage will make a big difference in the lives of federally-regulated workers and build the confidence of everyone fighting for a $15 minimum wage across Canada and the United States.
Second, we won important improvements to the Canada Labour Code before the federal election – but not all of the changes have taken effect. Now, with some continuity in government, we can continue the fight to protect, implement, and strengthen these new provisions.
Third, we are still waiting on the report from the Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards. The report will make recommendations to further strengthen the Canada Labour Code. We don’t yet know what the recommendations will be, but we should be ready to respond as soon as the report is made public.
Challenging racism & xenophobia
Across Canada, we are united in our desire for decent work, universal public services, and justice for all.
Sign up to become a Migrant Rights champion:
Let's continue pushing back against racism and xenophobia
There's no doubt the inspiring climate strikes across Canada on Sept. 27 were decisive in shifting the ground in a progressive direction. Hundreds of thousands mobilized in one of the largest week-day protests in decades!
In Ontario, $15 and Fairness supporters like you, brought the decent work lens to the conversation around climate. We also helped amplify the work of the Migrant Rights Network and built solidarity with Indigenous communities. We want to be sure that no worker is left behind as we retool the global economy to reduce carbon emissions, decrease toxic waste, and invest jobs that will heal and nurture people, plants and animals. Thanks to your work, “climate” became a top issue at the ballot box while concerns around “immigration” were cut in half.
Minority government: More risk, not less
With a minority Liberal government, we can expect that Members of Parliament will be pushed and pulled between those who advocate for corporations and those who advocate for workers and the planet. Pitting us against each other is the go-to strategy of the super rich to keep their power. That's why it's still critical that you speak to your friends, and co-workers about income inequality, climate change, migrant rights, and racism. Sign up now to become a Migrant Justice Champion (click here) and educate your community! Once you sign up, the Migrant Rights Network will connect you with resources so you can lead conversations and facilitate workshops where you are.
Thanks for everything you do!
Together, we will win decent work for ALL.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
Two weeks have passed since the death of Enrico Miranda, the 5th temp agency worker to be killed at Fiera Foods, but we've heard nothing from Premier Doug Ford. This is the second worker killed at Fiera Foods under Ford's watch. We need to make sure that it is the last.
Open letter: to Doug Ford
Today, we issued an open letter to the Premier, to demand that he immediately close the loophole that allow companies to put temp workers' lives at risk. Together with the Ontario Federation of Labour, Workers' Action Centre and Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, we've given Ford a deadline until Friday to make companies using temp agencies financially responsible under WSIB for workplace deaths and injuries. This law has already passed, it just needs Ford's signature to be implemented.
Call now to speak out for workers at Fiera Foods
While we pressure Ford's Conservatives to strengthen protections for us all, help us send a clear message to bad bosses by making a phone call.
When Enrico Miranda was killed at Fiera Foods, we know the company forced workers to finish their shifts instead of stopping production. But when we held a rally outside the factory, they cancelled their workers’ shifts (without pay!) to keep them away.
Fiera Foods cannot be allowed to operate this way! Call the company now. Dial 416-746-8579 to speak to Fiera’s General Counsel, David Gelbloom.
Let’s demand that they:
- Pay their workers for the cancelled shifts
- Stop hiding behind temp agencies, and immediately hire the hundreds of temp workers as their direct employees
Organizing builds power: Join Thursday's Walk-in!
As heartbreaking as these injustices are, we know the only way to assert our rights and keep our communities safe is organizing!
55,000 CUPE education workers stood strong to defend quality public services and preserve decent jobs in our communities! But let's remember, it's not the end of the struggle in the education sector!
School walk-ins are still scheduled for this Thursday, October 10. Families, students and teachers across the province will be taking action outside of schools to show we are united against provincial education cuts! To find a school near you to join the walk-in, and other useful resources, click here.
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.
Thank you for your ongoing support! Please stay tuned for details on upcoming actions against Fiera.
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!
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:
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.
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
- 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.
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 Canada.
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!