At the People’s Social Forum in Ottawa, being held from August 21 – 24, Winnie Ng and John Humphrey from Good Jobs for All EI Working Group will be making presentations on the Toronto impacts of the Harper Conservatives EI cuts on August 22. If you are going, please join in.
Action 1: Saturday, June 21 @10:00 a.m., at Scarborough Town Centre. We will meet at 10:00 a.m. at Service Canada Offices near the Town Centre. Park by Cineplex Cinema, though food court to subway exit and Service Canada.
Action 2: Wednesday, June 25 @ 3:30 p.m., at Kennedy Subway station. We will meet at 3:30 at West Scarborough Community Legal Services in Suite 201 at 2425 Eglinton East, near Kennedy. Parking – southeast corner lot at Kennedy and Eglinton.
Systemic marginalization creates barriers to a living wage for many workers in Canada. In particular, women workers, and those who are racialized, immigrant, Aboriginal, living with disabilities or similarly disadvantaged are all segregated into low wage job ghettoes—their work systemically devalued. A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives argues that governments and employers need to deliver more equitable compensation incomes for vulnerable workers. The report states that the right to work and earn a living wage free of discrimination is a basic human right.
Last May federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no such thing as a bad job. The Law Commission of Ontario may disagree.
This week it put out a report about the rise in vulnerable workers and precarious jobs. Now that he’s heard from executives who think Canadians are paid too much, Mr. Flaherty should consider the other side of the story, and the suggested fix.
Most of us rely on our jobs as our main form of economic security, but gradually the market has been shifting away from jobs offering reliable incomes and benefits.
More than 1 in 5 jobs in Ontario (22 per cent) are defined as “precarious” today. Precarious jobs combine low rates of pay with part-time or highly variable hours of work, and no benefits or pensions. If you’re a woman, a visible minority, or a recent immigrant, there’s considerably more than a one-in-five chance that a precarious job is waiting for you.
Since the recession, four out of five jobs added to the job market in Canada have been temporary or contract work (see attached graph). Add to that a new federal policy thrust that has dramatically increased temporary foreign work permits for migrant workers, particularly in low skilled job categories. Sadly, some employers have been exploiting the fact that many workers find themselves in no position to complain.
Labour and community activists are mobilizing for a massive turnout on Tuesday, January 17th when Toronto City Council starts debating the 2012 budget. Despite some tinkering by his hand-picked Executive, the budget contains deep cuts to services, programs and jobs. Packing the Council Chambers from 9:30 in the morning till 9:00 at night is vitally important to keep pressure on Councillors to turn down the cuts. At 5:30 pm there will be a rally to save services and defend good jobs on Nathan Phillips square. Bring out everyone you know!