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Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomeRegionalMovement for better working conditions is growing in Ontario

Movement for better working conditions is growing in Ontario

The fight for better working conditions and decent wages is just beginning in Ontario. That’s why Fight For $15, a movement aimed at seeking a higher minimum wage in Ontario, is now Justice4Workers. 

According to organizers, the shift in messaging and name came after an extensive process in interviewing and surveying low-waged and precariously employed workers. 

The new movement will expand on Fight For $15’s original vision by shifting towards an emphasis on addressing racism, harrassment and discrimination in the workplace, and to get permanent universal sick days in Ontario. 

Justice4Workers will also be demanding a $20 minimum wage in Ontario. According to the Ontario Living Wage Network, all regions have a living age of over $15 dollars an hour, with Kingston hovering at over $17 and Toronto at $22.08/hour. Increasing the minimum wage to $20/hour will ensure that Ontario’s minimum wage is in line with a living wage, the organizers say. 

Minimum wage increases have always been a contentious issue in Ontario. The first wage rate that was set in Ontario was in 1963 at 85 cents for women and $1 for males.

After this announcement was made by the Ontario Government, business owners feared that staffing reductions would ensue, costs would be passed on to consumers and that the “staple” 10 cent coffee would be put in jeopardy. 

Some of the concerns have been put to rest throught empirical research, which has shown that there is generally no negative effect on employment as wages increase. 

Some economic theories continue to say otherwise though.

The organization behind Justice4Workers also believes that employers are increasingly getting away with loopholes that allow wrongful dismissal and the misclassification of gig workers. 

Justice4Workers is now demanding that companies like Uber stop classifying their workers as independent contractors, and demanding that companies be fully responsible for wages, working conditions and collective bargaining, when they use temp agencies, franchises and/or subcontractors.

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