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Health care crisis in Nova Scotia reaches dangerous tipping point

 “It’s time for this Liberal government to wake up, admit there is a crisis, and together we will work to find solutions in the best interest of Nova Scotians.” — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President

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Manitoba budget fails to keep promise to protect and invest in public services

Despite election promises, “we have seen a steady erosion of funding that’s putting services at risk. That’s not what Manitobans want and it’s not what the Premier promised them.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

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Rideauwood addictions workers ratify their first contract

“We joined together in a union to make sure we have the working conditions we need to offer the best possible services, and that’s just what we’ve done,” said Wendy Brown, addictions counselor and Chair of OPSEU Local 454’s Rideauwood bargaining committee

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NSGEU’s Amateur Sports and Fine Arts Awards

The deadline is March 31.

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Child advocate report underlines need for transformative change to Indigenous children and youth services: BCGEU

It’s time for the government to ensure that frontline workers have the resources and policy framework in place to fully support British Columbia’s Indigenous families.” — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President

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Big step forward for temp workers!

Temp agency workers have won a major victory in the fight for decent work. Legislation will soon ensure that client companies will be held responsible for any injuries or accidents faced by temp agency workers working in their companies. The Workers’ Action Centre organized to win this legislation back in 2014 with Bill 18. However, this protection was not enacted. We did not give up and now it will become law!  With our growing decent work movement, we are winning better working conditions for some of the workers most hard hit by precarious and low-wage work in Ontario. This new measure, along with the equal pay for equal work law coming into effect on April 1, will strike a solid blow against exploitation faced by workers in the temp agency industry.

This is the time to keep organizing! Temp workers are too often viewed as expendable, and so need further protection. Workers are calling for the following changes, which would ensure companies are held liable for their treatment of temp workers:

  • Keep temp work temporary by ensuring temp workers are directly hired after 3 months on the job.
  • Place a 20% cap on the number of temp workers used by a client company.
  • Hold client companies and temporary agencies jointly accountable for all employment standards, including personal emergency leave.

Workers' Action Centre members at Toronto's International Women's Day 2018Join the Social Media Day of Action in Support of Tim Hortons Workers.

Another step forward this week was the pay transparency bill put forward by the Ontario government to address the gender pay gap. This proposed law will eventually require all employers with 250 or more employees to publish the salary on each job posting as well as report pay differentials to the government. Women workers should have the right to see how much less we are being paid so that we can enforce our right to equal pay.

However, the pay transparency bill must be strengthened. In this CBC News article, Fay Faraday of the Equal Pay Coalition, says this law must apply to smaller companies with as little at ten employees, since 98% of Ontario employers have 49 employees or less. It is up to our decent work movement to build pressure and momentum so that we can improve the lives of women workers, who are making 31% to 57% less than men depending on whether they are immigrant, racialized, disabled or Indigenous women.

We can find many of these women behind Tim Hortons’ counters and drive throughs. Workers at Tim Hortons, many of whom have been silenced with gag orders, still need our support as many franchises roll back benefits and working conditions. On March 15, please join the Social Media Day of Action in Support of Tim Hortons Workers. Click here right now to sign up and add your voice. If enough people join the online action, a one-time message will be sent out from all of our social media profiles to tell Tim Hortons to treat workers better. It’s so important that we bring our collective power to bear on this wealthy corporation that is treating workers so unfairly.

Please get more involved in the movement and get your friends on board, too! To get up to speed on our campaign and find out what you can do, come to The Fight for Decent Work Forum: From Elections to Direct Action on Friday, March 23, 6:30 – 9:00 pm at Toronto Central YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St. At this free event, special guest Bhairavi Desai, one of the founders the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance, will offer insight on organizing for change. Please share this video and register for the event on Facebook. See you there!

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Paid domestic violence leave gets boost in 2018 federal budget

Canada’s unions are celebrating the federal government’s recent announcement that it plans to amend the Canada Labour Code to include five days of paid domestic violence leave for workers in federally-regulated workplaces. This news expands on last year’s promise of ten days of unpaid leave for workers experiencing domestic violence.

“Canada’s unions have been advocating for paid domestic violence leave for years. What started as a relatively modest undertaking with a national study, resulted in important insight into the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. Now we are seeing real progress,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

Yussuff commended Manitoba for being the first province to introduce paid domestic violence leave in 2016. Manitoba now provides all workers the right to five paid days of domestic violence leave, plus an additional ten unpaid days. When necessary, a worker can request up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave without jeopardizing their employment. Earlier this year, Ontario also introduced five paid days of leave for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and if necessary, up to 15 weeks of unpaid leave.

“Paid domestic violence leave for people experiencing violence helps them take steps that can help keep themselves and their children safe. Dealing with violence is time consuming – especially when it comes to tasks like finding housing, opening a bank account, or meeting with lawyers and the police, a lot of which has to happen during office hours,” said CLC Secretary-Treasurer Marie Clarke Walker.

Momentum for paid leave is building across Canada. Many local unions have now negotiated domestic violence leave clauses. However, Canada’s unions want this right extended to all workers, so across Canada, workers are calling on their provincial and territorial governments to amend their Employment Standards and offer paid domestic violence leave to any worker who needs it.

Paid leave is one of many forms of support people who experience domestic violence can access in their workplace. The CLC has developed training for stewards and union representatives, to empower them to identify and respond when a member is dealing with domestic violence. Our Domestic Violence at Work Online Resource Centre has resources for individuals, representatives and unions who want to learn more and support others. Canada’s unions are also proud to have negotiated support for victims of domestic violence in many workplace collective agreements.

See more at: CLC's website

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Seeking nominations for the OFL Solidarity and Pride Champion Award

Click here to download the Nomination Form.
Click here to download the Award Criteria.


The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is seeking nominations from affiliates, local unions and labour councils for the SOLIDARITY & PRIDE CHAMPION AWARD.

This annual award is to acknowledge and celebrate individuals or groups who have made a significant or ongoing contribution to the advancement of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and two-spirit (LGBTQI*) human rights, equity and inclusion. Nominees who are leaders in advancing equality and quality of life for LGBTQI* people in workplaces, community and globally.

The OFL encourages affiliates, local unions and labour councils to remember equity seeking nominees from the LGBTQI* community who also identify as racialized, aboriginal and disabilities groups in their selection of potential nominees.

Please submit your nomination in writing explaining why the nominee is eligible based on the criteria form attached. Please include all the nominee’s contact information. All nominations must be made in writing and sent to Carrol Anne Sceviour at the Ontario Federation of Labour by April 23, 2018.

Selection: The OFL Solidarity and Pride Committee will review written nominations and make a recommendation to the OFL Officers and Executive Board.

For more information on the OFL SOLIDARITY & PRIDE CHAMPION AWARD please contact, OFL Human Rights Director Carrol Anne Sceviour at 416.443.7670 or via email

Yours in solidarity,

Patty Coates

Click here to download the Nomination Form.

Click here to download the Award Criteria.

The post Seeking nominations for the OFL Solidarity and Pride Champion Award appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

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U.S. tariffs would hurt Canadian workers despite exemptions

Canada’s unions are calling on federal and provincial governments to stand up to U.S. trade aggression and support Canada’s steel and aluminum industries and their workers.

U.S. President Trump released his finalized steel and aluminum tariff package today, with temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico.

Despite these exemptions, today’s announcement will mean that Canadian producers will be competing with the excess supply of steel and aluminum diverted from the U.S. market.

“The steel and aluminum sectors are one of Canada’s key economic drivers and employers, directly and indirectly supporting good jobs in nearly every region in Canada,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

“Canadian steel and aluminum should have a permanent exemption from American tariffs. Canada and the U.S. have an integrated economy that has yielded economic benefits for both countries, but this move jeopardizes the future of that relationship,” said Yussuff.

The steel sector supports 22,000 direct jobs across Canada and the aluminum sector supports nearly 10,000 direct jobs mostly in BC and Quebec, with supply chains and related industries affecting more than 100,000 additional workers.

“The Canadian government must take immediate action to prevent foreign steel and aluminum dumping in the Canadian market. The federal and provincial governments must also be prepared to assist Canadian workers and steel manufacturers who will need support to maintain their livelihoods and stay in business,” said Yussuff.

Yussuff also underscored that this announcement should not impact ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

The Canadian Labour Congress is asking for the federal government to put together a rapid response working group with industry and worker representatives to develop a package to support workers, businesses, and communities.

Elements of a package could include:

  • Action by Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to address any trade diversion caused by US measures;
  • Additional resources devoted to border agents and inspections to ensure Canadian market isn’t flooded with dumped products;
  • Policy measures that prioritize the use of Canadian made steel and aluminum for energy projects within Canada. This would enable the government to meet its stated aim of developing Canada’s energy resources in an environmentally responsible way.
See more at: CLC's website

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This International Women’s Day, push for pay equity

On International Women’s Day, the Ontario Federation of Labour celebrates hard-fought wins and ongoing efforts for achieving equality for women.  Across our movement women are making change for themselves and for generations to come; we see those changes every day, but we celebrate them especially on International Women’s Day.

Women in leadership across the Ontario Federation of Labour commit their time and their expertise to working in solidarity. In the OFL executive, in labour councils, and in committees they fight to end the disadvantages women face in the workplace. Women are over two-thirds of part-time workers, and they are the majority of the 1.7 million Ontarians who work at or near minimum wage.

The Ontario Federation of Labour is committed, today and every day, to pushing hard for gender equality, and to fight for the liberation of all women.

In Ontario, workers won gains under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act that advance the equality of women at work and in all areas of life, including five days paid leave for domestic and sexual violence survivors, and an increase to the minimum wage.

We will continue to win changes. This week the government of Ontario introduced the Pay Transparency Act which it says will set the province on a better path to achieving pay equity. This bill can and must go further to ensure that equal pay is the norm in our province and beyond. The Gender Pay Gap drives women into poverty, particularly Indigenous and racialized women. Women who are immigrants are paid, on average, 57 per cent as much as a white man. Overall, the gender pay gap is 31 per cent.

Ontario women are #donewaiting for an end to wage discrimination, sexual harassment and violence, and an end to the childcare crisis. This International Women’s Day, speak up. Take the pledge to let your politicians know what they can do to make equality a reality. To sign the pledge click here.

Today we celebrate the achievements of the past, and let those victories inspire our work for equality in the future. This International Women’s Day, join in the call for change.

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

The post This International Women’s Day, push for pay equity appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

See more at: OFL's website

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