Newsletter – Good Jobs for All Coalition – February 2009

Thank you all for being a part of creating an exciting, historic day in the City of Toronto, and for engaging in dialogues, sharing experiences and knowledge, and strategizing on how to create good jobs for all in the Greater Toronto Area. Our struggle for good jobs is now even more essential given the deepening economic crisis we are in. We were all an integral part of creating a mandate and momentum to move forward in building a movement for good jobs for all. In our Summit of more than 1000 people, we witnessed the signing and endorsement of the Good Jobs for All for a Greater Toronto Declaration, a statement representing our collective voice and power on the vision we want for the GTA. Continue reading Newsletter – Good Jobs for All Coalition – February 2009

Justice and Dignity for Cleaners: Nezrene Edwards

The Mayor of Toronto wants to outsource the jobs of hundreds of city cleaners and turn them over to low-wage contractors. There are already too many jobs in Toronto that pay poverty wages. Good Jobs for All wants Toronto to move forward instead of backward. We think cleaners in every sector deserve to make a living wage.

As a city, we can stand up for good jobs that will not just raise standards for workers, but also strengthen our neighbourhoods and communities. Contact your City Councillor and tell them that we should defend good jobs in our city.

Click on the button below to contact your City Councillor now.

Nezrene Edwards
Nezrene

“For 20 years, I have been a Toronto housing cleaner. The residents here know me and I know my work makes a difference for them. Every morning, I come in and clean the grounds, the buildings, compact the garbage, hose the floor to clear maggots and bugs. It’s not pretty, and I am responsible for work that many people would just find really difficult to do. We get shots to prevent things like hepatitis because there is a real risk of getting sick. People need to understand that just because we pick up dirt doesn’t mean we should be treated like dirt. We deserve to be treated with dignity.

I feel bad for some of the cleaners that private contractors bring in while me or my colleagues are on vacation. They get really low pay for doing difficult work. It’s just not fair because all the money ends up in the contractor’s pockets when the cleaners are basically making minimum wage.”

There are already too many jobs in Toronto that pay poverty wages.

In some cases, the companies involved in contract cleaning have grown immensely rich from their operations. Some are in the Fortune 500, with revenues in the billions. Others are cut-throat operations that have a history of exploiting immigrants and violating employment standards.

But there is more at stake here than poor wages. The plan to outsource jobs will start in police stations, where the question of security has always been a major concern. As outsourcing spreads into other facilities such as long-term care, any attempt by companies to cut corners can have a major impact on the health or safety of vulnerable residents.

Download PDF flyer

Justice and Dignity for Cleaners: Julio Silva

The Mayor of Toronto wants to outsource the jobs of hundreds of city cleaners and turn them over to low-wage contractors. There are already too many jobs in Toronto that pay poverty wages. Good Jobs for All wants Toronto to move forward instead of backward. We think cleaners in every sector deserve to make a living wage.

As a city, we can stand up for good jobs that will not just raise standards for workers, but also strengthen our neighbourhoods and communities. Contact your City Councillor and tell them that we should defend good jobs in our city.

Click on the button below to contact your City Councillor now.

Julio Silva
Julio

“For almost 10 years, I worked for various private cleaning contractors and saw up close the kind of cutthroat operations they ran. The pay was so low that I had to work three different jobs to make ends meet.

My fellow cleaners and I struggled very hard to try to unionize ourselves so that we could have a little bit of protection. It was really difficult because the employer tried various tactics to intimidate us. We won a first contract, which was a step in the right direction and gave us hope.

I am now working as a custodian at the school board. I have only one job and when I am done work, I can go home to my family without worrying about how to pay the bills. But there are still thousands of cleaners who are struggling in Toronto for better working conditions. They look to their counterparts in the public sector to raise the standards just a little bit. Unfortunately we have a Mayor who is trying to push hundreds of cleaners into that same situation. It just doesn’t make sense for our city.”

There are already too many jobs in Toronto that pay poverty wages.

In some cases, the companies involved in contract cleaning have grown immensely rich from their operations. Some are in the Fortune 500, with revenues in the billions. Others are cut-throat operations that have a history of exploiting immigrants and violating employment standards.

But there is more at stake here than poor wages. The plan to outsource jobs will start in police stations, where the question of security has always been a major concern. As outsourcing spreads into other facilities such as long-term care, any attempt by companies to cut corners can have a major impact on the health or safety of vulnerable residents.

Download PDF flyer

Justice and Dignity for Cleaners: Nelia Bettencourt

The Mayor of Toronto wants to outsource the jobs of hundreds of city cleaners and turn them over to low-wage contractors. There are already too many jobs in Toronto that pay poverty wages. Good Jobs for All wants Toronto to move forward instead of backward. We think cleaners in every sector deserve to make a living wage.

As a city, we can stand up for good jobs that will not just raise standards for workers, but also strengthen our neighbourhoods and communities. Contact your City Councillor and tell them that we should defend good jobs in our city.

Click on the button below to contact your City Councillor now.

Nelia Bettencourt
nelia

“I’m a Heavy Duty Cleaner at the Toronto Police Service. I wash the floors, steam the carpet, clean the cells and washrooms, pick up garbage and more. I’ve been doing this for 9 years. We are there every day, and we are all almost like family to each other. There’s a familiarity and trust we’ve developed and that’s important, especially in a police station where there’s sensitive information and security issues. Continue reading Justice and Dignity for Cleaners: Nelia Bettencourt

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