April 18, 2021

We need paid sick days, not policing

Premier Doug Ford and the rest of the Conservative Party caucus are making decisions that will lead to more sickness and death.

Instead of following the recommendations of health experts and worker advocates to implement employer-paid sick days, Ford unleashed new powers for the police to harass and ticket people who are just trying to survive this pandemic.

This is a racist response that will harm Black workers, Indigenous workers, workers of colour, and women workers. Racialized workers are least likely to have paid sick days and are more likely to be harassed and harmed by police. Even if police spokespeople say they won’t act on these new powers, this move emboldens racist cops and gives them confidence to act with impunity. 

We must demand this government reverse course. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Join the Ontario-wide organizing meeting on Tuesday, April 20 at 7pm. Register now to receive the Zoom link. 
  2. Call and email your MPP right now. Find your MPP here by scrolling down and typing in your postal code. Let them know you are furious with the government’s failure to protect us.
  3. Take part in the emergency May Day action. On Saturday, May 1st at 11am, we are putting this government on notice. If they don’t take action now, we will. 

Ontario wants paid sick days!

A new Ontario public opinion poll shows the vast majority of us see paid sick days as essential for curbing workplace outbreaks and stopping the pandemic. Fear-mongering by big business lobby groups -- who claim paid sick days will harm the economy or cost jobs -- isn’t convincing to the public. Even 65% of Ford voters believe paid sick days will not harm the economy.

On May Day, let’s demand more than paid sick days

Join us on Saturday, May 1st at 11am to demand decent work for all. Let’s sound the alarm for paid sick days, decent wages, safe working conditions and good jobs for all. Please register to the May Day action and bring a friend.

Low-wage, precarious work is a threat to our collective health and well-being. Whether it is part-time and temp workers stringing together multiple jobs to make ends meet and accidentally spreading COVID-19; or workers without paid sick days who can’t afford to stay home at the first sign of symptoms; or parents sending sick kids to school because they can’t afford to lose a day’s pay to stay home with them -- a bold agenda for decent work is crucial in curbing COVID-19.

Will you join us on Saturday, May 1 at 11am to let every MPP know we expect them to be a decent work champion?

May 1: Countdown to justice

Our May Day action will also be the launch of the next phase of the decent work movement. After conducting hundreds of conversations with workers in low-wage and precarious work, it’s clear that Ontario is ready to fight for a new, bold vision for decent work. Join us on May Day as we call for:  

  • at least 10 employer-paid sick days permanently with another 14 paid days kicking in during public health outbreaks; 
  • an end to racist harassment, discrimination, and workplace bullying;
  • a much higher minimum wage - at least $20 an hour - and annual cost of living adjustments; 
  • full-time work for all who want it and equal pay between full-time, directly-hired workers with those of us who must work part-time, casual, on contract or through temp agencies;
  • easier access to unions; and
  • real enforcement of the law.

Crucially, we must demand full immigration status for every worker so we are all protected by the laws and social safety net. None of us should be deported for standing up for decent work. 

Upcoming events from our community and labour allies

Vaccines for all 

Demand the federal and provincial governments ensure full access to the COVID-19 vaccine to all migrants, regardless of immigration status. Vaccines must be free; not require a health card; be accessible; and not be mandatory. No information about migrants must be collected or shared with immigration enforcement. All migrants must have access to universal healthcare immediately, regardless of immigration status. Full and permanent immigration status for all is essential in order to guarantee safe and healthy communities.

Black on Campus: Justice for Professor Avolonto

Solidarity is urgently needed for Prof. Aimé Avolonto, a Black professor who is facing termination by York University's President Rhonda Lenton following public comments he made to the media about anti-Black racism at York. Systemic anti-Black racism is nothing new at York University, but what is different about this case is Prof. Avolonto's refusal to back down and his insistence on having his complaints about anti-Black racism heard, despite York's attempts to cover them up. 

Petition: Sign the petition in support of Dr. Avolonto 
Phone Zap: 
Make a call in defense of Professor Avolonto on April 21st at 7pm

Solidarity with Asian and migrant sex workers

Join Butterfly in celebrating the organization's 5 years of history and take collective action to support their advocacy work.

  • Catch Butterfly's community online exhibition on Instagram between April 17th and May 1st. This exhibition features photographs, voice and text messages contributed by the Butterfly community, and social media posts that share a layered timeline of Butterfly's history of activism, advocacy, and support work. 
  • Join the Day of Action to support Butterfly's advocacy work on Saturday, April 24 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

Curbing COVID, Fighting for Decent Work Panel

Join the Centre for Free Expression for a conversation about the connection between decent work and public health on Wednesday May 5th at 4pm.

Epicenters for COVID have been long-term care homes, warehouses, factories, and farms where workers feel pressured to be silent about what is happening to them and their communities. Join a panel of experts exploring how this happened, what it means for workers, and what can be done. 


  • Kit Andres, Migrant Farm Workers Organizer, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
  • Syed Hussan, Executive Director, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
  • Gagandeep Kaur, Organizer, Peel Warehouse Workers Centre
  • Deena Ladd, Executive Director, Workers’ Action Centre
  • Moderated by Myer Siemiatycki, Professor Emeritus, Politics & Public Administration, Ryerson University