Category Archives: Empowering Workers

The Gender Wage Gap and Changing Workplaces in Ontario

A Good Jobs for All Coalition Submission:

The Gender Wage Gap and Changing Workplaces in Ontario

Submitted jointly to:

The Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee
400 University Avenue, 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
By email:

~ and ~

The Changing Workplaces Review
ELCPB, 400 University Avenue, 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
By email:

January, 2016
The Good Jobs for All Coalition was formed in 2008 and brings together a broad base of more than 30 community and labour organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. We are working to develop strategies that affirm the values of a truly just society including equity, a healthy environment and decent employment.

As part of that work we seek public policies that put an end to conditions which are eroding equality in the labour market and endangering good jobs with decent working conditions, pay and benefits. Instead we seek policies that help build an economy with good jobs for all, now and for the next generation.



Join us in a community action discussion on women, work, and how good jobs can create prosperity in our city. For more information contact Beverley at or 647.655.1729.

Wednesday October 7, 2015
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Rexdale Community Hub
21 Panorama Court
M9V 4E3
*Refreshments available
*Child minding & interpretation by request

Download the PDF flyer

Scrap the changes – Fix EI

At the Toronto Labour Day parade, Good Jobs for All members distributed 2000 flyers and got over 200 signatures on a petition to stop the Harper government’s changes to the Employment Insurance program.   If you didn’t sign the petition or get a flyer, and need information, please ‘read more’.

Many more jobs in Canada are temporary, part-time and many Canadian cities and communities have still not recovered from the recession.  As many  of the marchers in the Toronto Labour Day Parade said “We all pay into Employment Insurance, and we need to be able to depend upon it when we need it!“

Good Jobs for All has been fighting to change Employment Insurance since 2009]  Because of the work of committed activists, EI was extended in 2009, but then the Harper Government decided to try to gut the program.   Right now premiers across Canada are speaking out against the EI Changes and the Canada Jobs Grant. Work in Canada is changing, and too many people are not able to collect Employment Insurance when they need it.   Join us and let’s fight to fix Employment Insurance

Contact if you know someone who has been cut from the EI program or needs help collecting EI and if you want to join this campaign.


Community Forum in Scarborough tomorrow – Rights & Dignity at Work

Rights and Dignity at Work — forum in Scarborough

The Rights & Dignity at Work campaign is holding a forum on Wednesday, September 26 in Scarborough.

Location: The Hub, 2660 Eglinton Avenue East

Time: 6 – 8 pm

Good Jobs are vital to strong, healthy communities. However, the reality is that more and more of us are being left behind — we are precariously employed or underemployed, and are being told we are “lucky” to have a job if we try to speak up at work. But we are not the problem. The problem is the economic race to the bottom which forces workers to give up more and more. The only thing that can help is having communities on our side when we ask for the government to fix the laws to help us have a voice at work.

Click ( for more information on the campaign. Keep checking our Calendar for upcoming forums in your area. Contact for more information

Stop the $6 million cut to employment standards enforcement

Despite the fact that workplace violations are at a crisis, the government wants to cut $6 million out of Employment Standards enforcement.

EMAIL Dalton McGuinty to ask him to keep his promise to workers and stop the cut today:

Wage theft is at a crisis.
People need confidence that when they go to work they will be paid. However, every day we are seeing workers not getting paid their wages. In a recent survey of workplace violations, WAC found that 1 in 3 people in low waged jobs face unpaid wages.

People are working hard, without adequate protection in their workplaces. Unpaid wages throw workers into financial hardship and stress–yet less than 1% of workplaces are inspected and there’s no cost to employers who break the law. Now more than ever workers need protection from wage theft.

Dalton McGuinty’s promise to workers in 2008:
As part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, we will invest an additional $10 million annually to hire new employment standards officers, improve Employment Standards Act compliance and reduce the backlog of claims.
Government of Ontario, Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy 2008.


  1. Email Premier Dalton McGuinty here and tell him to keep his promise to workers.
  2. Call your MPP and ask them to make sure the government does not cut $6 million from Employment Standards enforcement. Find out who your MPP is at
  3. Share this information with others in your community and urge them to take action.

OFL Rejects Mowat Centre Pay Day Loan Scheme for unemployed workers

The Ontario Federation of Labour has released an assessment of the EI Report from the Mowat Task Force. Click here to download the full assessment.

(TORONTO) — Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan has rejected the latest report from the Mowat Centre Employment Insurance (EI) Task Force. “I was dumb-founded to see that the report has focused on little more than a Pay Day Loan scheme for unemployed workers in precarious and non-standard work, instead of modernizing EI to meet their needs,” said Sid Ryan.

Ryan was referring to a key Task Force recommendation that proposes a new temporary unemployment assistance (TUA) program funded by a “jobseeker’s loan” with repayment contingent upon future income. According to the report, workers “could rely on TUA until other work is secured or use TUA to smooth income over periods of lower earnings.

Read more of the OFL news release here.

Justice and Dignity for Cleaners

Hundreds of City cleaners’ jobs may be contracted out without a chance for our elected Councillors to weigh in and vote on this issue. The cleaners at the Toronto Police Service are the first group under attack. Their jobs may be cut and handed over to private cleaning companies. Other cleaners, like those at Toronto Community Housing, have also been given notice.

Justice & Dignity for Cleaners Campaign goals

  • Establish accountability at City Council for decisions about possible job cuts
  • Protect cleaners’ jobs
  • Create awareness about the human impact of contracting out good jobs by telling the stories of cleaners whose work is usually not visible
  • Create awareness about the overall social and economic impact on our city
  • Recruit more cleaners and allies to be prepared for future fights against job cuts

Why Are Cleaners Jobs’ Threatened?

A budget crisis of $774 million has been manufactured by the Ford administration. Using this crisis, Ford and his supporters at City Council will attempt to privatize many of the city’s services and systematically attack city jobs that pay a living wage. KPMG, a private consulting company, was hired by the Mayor Ford to conduct a Core Service Review and propose many of these cuts.

While the public is focused on the devastating cuts to services, City staff managers are being directed by the Ford agenda to push through job cuts that are not part of the Core Service Review.

The Reality of Contract Cleaning

For decades, private cleaning companies have exploited cleaners – particularly women and immigrants – by paying them poverty wages. Cleaners in the private sector usually work multiple jobs just to keep their families afloat. Many have worked hard to organize themselves and improve their working standards. By paying our cleaners a decent wage with health benefits and providing safety training and job security, our City has defended good working standards for a healthy city.

Good Jobs and the Health of our City

Toronto already has too many poverty jobs. Creating more poverty jobs could have serious, long term consequences. If we want to leave a growing and vibrant city to the next generation of residents, we must start with defending good jobs.

The Ford administration is trying to circumvent democratic and transparent process by directing City managers to make the final decisions affecting hundreds of jobs. Decisions that could impact the overall economic health of our city should be made by elected City Councillors, not City managers. If City Council does not act on this issue, these job cuts will go through. This would also set the stage for many more cuts and layoffs.

City Councillors must take responsibility for supporting living-wage jobs in our city instead of allowing secret, backroom processes that could turn Toronto into a low-wage city.

Good Jobs for All, a community-labour coalition, is organizing this campaign to call
on City Councillors to make the decisions we elected them to make. City Councillors should insist on democratic and transparent decision-making at City Council.

The campaign features a team of City cleaners and private sector cleaners who are supporting a decent wage for all cleaners in every sector.

The Campaign Initiatives Include:

  • Lobbying City Councillors to ensure that these cuts come to a vote at City Council
  • Distributing flyers and posters that targets residents in wards where Councillors have not taken a stand on the issue. Ensuring that Councillors take a side.

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

If you would like to download the campaign flyer: English | Spanish.

Contact us at for more information.

Cities Get the Cold Shoulder with EI Announcement

By Laurell Ritchie, CAW National Representative

The government’s October 12 announcement that they will extend two EI pilot projects for eight more months (“Best 14 Weeks” and “40% Allowable Earnings”) is welcome news for the many workers who find themselves in precarious employment. The government should move quickly to make them permanent features of the EI Act.

Continue reading Cities Get the Cold Shoulder with EI Announcement