Jared Ong

  • Regional wages? Or a $20 minimum wage for all?

    Many people we’re talking to are keen to understand what the different political parties are offering when it comes to Ontario's minimum wage.

    As it stands, we have a stark choice: a $20 minimum wage for all; regional wage schemes where some of us are paid less for doing the same work depending on where we live; or nothing at all. 

    Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario: Nothing at all

    Contrary to media spin, Doug Ford’s Conservative Party has promised nothing on the minimum wage. 

    Ford claims he’ll raise the minimum wage to $15.50 this October 1. But let’s be clear: the $15.50 is not a new election promise. Rather, Section 23.1(4) of the Employment Standards Act requires any Ontario government to adjust the minimum wage every October 1 to keep up with rising prices. This is the law that we, as Ontario workers, already fought for and won! 

    In fact, had Doug Ford not cancelled our $15 minimum wage that should have taken effect on January 1, 2019 our minimum wage would have been $16.30 this October 1.

    New Democratic Party of Ontario: $20 minimum wage

    The Ontario New Democratic Party is calling for a phased-in $20 minimum wage.

    Under this plan, the minimum wage will increase by $2 in the first 11 months, becoming $16 on October 1 and $17 on May 1, 2023. It will then rise by $1 every year after, reaching $20 on May 1, 2026. After which, the minimum wage will be indexed to inflation.

    Ontario Liberal Party: $16 and consultations

    The Ontario Liberal Party has committed to increasing the minimum wage to $16 and engaging in further consultations on regional minimum wages.

    We believe this is problematic for 4 reasons. 

    1) If the previous Liberal government's $15 minimum wage had not been cancelled by Ford, the Liberal Party’s own policy would have resulted in a $16.30 minimum wage this October. Promising only $16 in 2022 is less than what the previous Liberal government had committed to.

    2) Spending more time consulting is totally unnecessary. The vast majority of Ontarians already know we need legislation to raise the minimum wage as soon as possible. We need wages that will lift us out of poverty. 

    3) Under the Liberals’ regional wage scheme, workers in “low-cost” jurisdictions will be paid far less than those in Toronto. For example, Sault Ste. Marie’s living wage is calculated to be just $16.20. In Durham, it’s $17.80. But northern communities and many others also have expenses not reflected in the “typical” household budget that forms the basis of these regional wage calculations. 

    Under a regional wage scheme, workers in the vast majority of Ontario regions would be paid far less than the $20/hr we're calling for.

    4) These kinds of regional wage schemes reinforce structural racism. Many migrants and workers of colour are already over-represented in low-wage, precarious employment and often live in lower cost regions because of the lack of affordable housing, among other things. Paying such workers less, based on their postal codes, would be a disastrous step backward.

    As Deena Ladd from the Workers’ Action Centre explained at the first leaders’ debate, regional wage schemes entrench racism and poverty by postal code and undermine equal pay for equal work.

    This is why we strongly oppose the Liberals' regional wage scheme that will see so many of us earn less than others based solely on where we live.

    The Ontario Green Party: $20 minimum wage

    Under the Green Party plan, the minimum wage will increase to $16 in 2022, then rise by $1 each year until it reaches $20. 

    Although initially supporting the same regional wage scheme as the Liberals, the Green Party listened to feedback and now supports a phased-in $20 minimum wage.

    You can make a difference

    With just days until election day, there’s no time to lose to vote for decent work champions. Here are 3 ways you can make a difference.

    • Order a lawn or window sign  
      Order a sign and let everyone know you support a $20 minimum wage and decent work by putting a sign on your door, window or lawn. 

    • Vote
      In the last Ontario election, many candidates won or lost by a handful of votes. Don’t forget: You don’t have to vote on June 2. You can skip the lines and vote in advance up till June 1. Find out where and how to vote at Elections Ontario. 
    • Join our June 7 Ontario Decent Work Organizing Meeting 
      No matter who wins on June 2, it’s crucial to keep organizing. At the June 7 provincial decent work organizing meeting, we'll assess the new political terrain and keep the momentum going for decent work.

    A word about public opinion polls

    We hear from some folks that public opinion polls covered in the news have left them feeling as if the election is a done deal. But we know the opposite is true: when we organize, we have always made a difference.

    If it weren’t for all the work we’ve done together in the years before this election, so many decent work demands wouldn’t be on the agenda. And we know that a $20 minimum wage, 10 paid sick days and equal-pay for equal work are hugely popular among voters of every Ontario political party.

    This election is our big chance to connect voters to their desire for fair wages and decent work. We really can vote for decent work champions. But it's not automatic that our issues will be covered on the news. That’s why we’re counting on you to spread the word, help others cast their vote for decent work and invite them to join the movement.

    If we organize effectively now, we'll be in a much stronger position to fight for decent work after the election. No matter who wins on June 2, thanks to you, we'll be ready to continue the fight for decent work in every part of the province.

  • Tell your MPP: Vote YES on Bill 8 for 10 paid sick days

    Next week, Ontario MPPs will be voting on Peggy Sattler's Bill for paid sick days. MPP Sattler is the NDP Labour critic and her "Stay Home If You Are Sick Act" (Bill 8) would legislate 10 employer-provided permanent paid sick days (plus 14 more during public health outbreaks). Both the Liberals and Greens have pledged to support Bill 8.

    Only Premier Doug Ford and his caucus stand between us and legislated, permanent paid sick days for all. 

    If Premier Ford and Labour Minister McNaughton are truly "working for workers" as they claim, then they too should vote YES to Bill 8 next week.

    Tell your MPP: Vote Yes on Paid Sick Days

    That's why we need your help to demand your local Conservative Party MPP vote YES to paid sick days next week. Here's how:

    1. Let us know you're coming to help
    2. Download and print these paid sick days posters
    3. Find your MPP’s office with your postal code 
    4. Anytime on Thursday, November 18, visit your MPP’s office and put up the posters.
    5. Share photos of your action on social media with these hashtags:

      #Justice4Workers     #10Days     #PaidSickLeave
      #PaidSickDays         #CdnPoli     #CanLab

    6. Tag supporters in the image with:

      @fairwagesnow     @decentworkhlth     @OFLabour          

    Organize with us at Tuesday's Organizing meeting

    A $15 minimum wage in 2022 is a huge step forward and we should be proud we created the conditions where Ford felt he had to reinstate the wage he cancelled three years ago. Workers deserve and need every additional cent they get.

    But $15 not enough. Workers have been waiting too long for fair wages and basic protections like paid sick days.

    That's why we need you at tomorrow's online organizing meeting on Tuesday, November 16th at 7pm. Will you join us?

  • published Open Letter Extend CRB and Fix EI in Resources 2021-11-16 14:05:17 -0500

  • published We Won! Keep fighting for $20 in Action Updates 2021-11-05 17:15:47 -0400

    We Won! Keep fighting for $20

    This week, Premier Doug Ford finally relented and announced he will restore the $15 minimum wage he cancelled back in 2018. We hope you feel proud of your role in forcing this anti-worker Premier to reverse course. This about-face is a vindication of everything we have done together: When we are united, we can make gains even under the most hostile governments.

    But in the time it’s taken Ford to admit his mistake, our wages have fallen behind. When Ford cancelled our $15 minimum wage, he also suspended for 2 years the yearly cost of living adjustments.

    In doing so, Ford transferred billions of dollars from workers right into the pockets of Amazon, Walmart, Loblaws, and other corporations who made record profit during the pandemic. And during all this, the pandemic has created supply shortages which are causing the price of basic household goods to skyrocket. 

    It will be seven years since workers first demanded $15 an hour when the $15 minimum wage takes effect in January 2022. That’s why a $15 minimum wage doesn’t cut. We need at least $20 an hour to survive!

    It's time for $20. Prices are rising. Our wages are not keeping up. Graph comparing shelter costs (4.5%), public transit (10%), dairy (12%), gas and home fuel (35%) and the minimum wage increase (4.5%). $15 doesn't pay the bills. It's time for a $20 minimum wage. Justice for Workers: Decent Work for All

    $20/hour minimum wage for all. No exemptions.

    As part of his minimum-wage announcement, Premier Ford promised to scrap the sub-minimum wage rate for liquor servers. This will increase liquor servers’ wages from $12.55 to $15.00, a pay hike of almost 20%. This is a huge step forward in our ongoing fight for equal pay. But our work isn’t done. Migrant workers are still exempted from minimum wage laws and students under the age of 18 are will still be paid less than their over-18 coworkers. 

    Decent Work Organizing Meeting: November 16th

    We must keep fighting until everyone earns at least $20 an hour. That’s why we need YOU at our next decent work organizing meeting on Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 pm EST. Will you be there?


    Say YES to Paid Sick Days

    NDP MPP Peggy Sattler’s private members’ Bill 8 for 10 paid sick days (plus 14 more days during public health outbreaks) will be debated on November 18 and the vote will take place November 22. We know the Ontario Liberals will be supporting Bill 8 so if Premier Ford and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton are serious about “working for workers,” the Conservative caucus must unanimously vote YES to implement Bill 8 without delay.

    Workers can't wait another day for paid sick days. Join us at November's Organizing meeting to organize for paid sick days!

    Tell Prime Minister Trudeau to restore the CRB

    If we can force a Conservative Premier to reverse course on the minimum wage, we can convince our Prime Minister and federal Finance Minister to change their minds on cancelling the Canada Recovery Benefit. Eliminating CRB will not address the real source of the labour shortage, which is caused by transportation bottlenecks and an exodus of workers from jobs with poverty wages, unsafe working conditions, and unstable hours. 

    It's not too late for Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland to do the right thing. 

    November 10th: Phone Zap to bring back the CRB and fix EI!

    On November 10 at 12:30 EST, we are joining forces with Campaign 2000; the Good Jobs for All coalition; the Steelworkers Toronto Area Council; and UNIFOR for a pan-Canadian Phone Zap to call on our federal representatives to bring back CRB income supports and to fix Employment Insurance for good.

    Please join us for 45 minutes next Wednesday, November 10th at 12:30 pm EST (9:30 am PST and 1:30 pm AST). Every phone call and email we make will be crucial, so your participation is essential. 

    From paid sick days to the minimum wage, the tide is turning in favour of workers across this country. And we couldn't have done it without you!

  • wants to volunteer 2021-06-29 13:15:00 -0400

    Join the Movement

    We want to change the laws to ensure every worker has decent work and wages as well as respect and dignity on the job. Hundreds of workers in low-wage, part-time and precarious employment have identified the following 10 essential priorities for a decent work agenda that - if implemented - would better protect all of us. We hope you’ll join the movement.

    We are fighting for: 

    Become a volunteer