More than a year into the pandemic, the Ontario government has finally been forced to take action on paid sick days. While the temporary paid sick days program is far from “the best paid sick days program in North America”, this hard-fought win is another example that when we fight, we can make real progress. The victory in Ontario has already had far-reaching implications, with four other provinces seeing new legislation for paid sick days. However, this fight is far from over, with so much still left on the table. None of the paid sick days schemes are permanent, and the days covered are completely inadequate. Workers still need at least ten permanent, employer-paid sick days plus an additional 14 during outbreaks.
We also know that workers need more than paid sick days. As Samara’s story illustrates, workers in low-wage and precarious employment are facing devastating conditions. Through the new Justice for Workers campaign, we are demanding decent wages, decent hours, paid sick days, equal pay, and labour laws that protect all of us. While this government is failing workers, we've shown that even the most anti-worker government can feel the pressure to respond. We are fighting for justice for workers, and we won’t stop until we win decent work for ALL.
Join the next provincial organizing meeting!
Will you come to the next organizing meeting on Tuesday, May 18, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm? Click here to register right now. Together we can shape the strategies and tactics we will use to engage the millions of workers across Ontario in this fight.
Justice for Workers May Day Action: Huge Success
Well over 700 people joined our online rally on International Workers Day to demand decent work for all. The energy was palpable as workers shared heart-wrenching stories about the terrible working conditions they face every day, and they inspired us with their determination to keep fighting for decent wages and safe working conditions. These courageous workers set the stage for the fight ahead.
We were also inspired by the local direct actions that took place at MPP offices. While we could only cut to two actions, we were able to visit (and decorate) over 20 Conservative MPP offices, putting them on notice that Ontarians want and deserve real protections from this government.
If you missed the event, click here to watch the event online. Enjoy the tunes at the beginning or fast forward to the speakers.
June 12 - Justice for Workers Teach-In
Join us for the first Justice for Workers teach-in! Between 11:00 am and 2:30 pm, you can choose up to 2 of 4 different workshops. Come for 1 or come for 2, or just pop in for as long as you can. Register today, and stay tuned for more details.
We are up against corporations who will stop at nothing to see our movement silenced. Part of their strategy is to share misinformation and outright lies about raising the minimum wage, implementing paid sick days, and improving protections for workers. It is more important than ever that we have all of the facts we need to push back against these attacks and raise the confidence of workers across the province to demand more. Click here to save the date: June 12 between 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.
UPCOMING EVENTS FROM OUR COMMUNITY AND LABOUR ALLIES
May 17: A People-First Agenda: Help & Hope, An International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia Discussion
In recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, the Ontario Federation of Labour is organizing a discussion on 2SLGBTQI+ issues. This discussion will cover the groundwork we need to lay to ensure we have a government that is inclusive and promotes the advancement of human rights and the improvement of socio-economic outcomes for 2SLGBTQI+ people.
Take action: Stop Bill 251 #NoMoreRescue #NoMorePolicing
Organizations like Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network and Maggie's Toronto have continued to speak out against the harmful legislation that seeks to expand police powers.
Organizations like Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network and Maggie's Toronto have continued to speak out against the harmful legislation that seeks to expand police powers. Ontario’s Bill 251 is named the Combating Human Trafficking Act, but this law will do nothing to prevent human trafficking. Bill 251 will only expand police powers to racially profile all residents while targeting sex workers. Because the law is framed as being about “protection” and “combating human trafficking,” Bill 251 has thus far escaped scrutiny despite its dangerous and far-reaching consequences.
Migrant Rights Update
On May 4, 2021, the Migrant Rights Network launched a scathing report that revealed the tremendous gaps in the new short-term immigration pilot program announced on April 14. Read the report here.
Migrant workers call on Justin Trudeau to ensure permanent resident status for all migrant and undocumented people in the country and ensure that all working-class migrants who arrive in the future do so with permanent resident status. Call Justin Trudeau to demand status.
Earlier this week, workers and community members took action in response to a call to action in response to the news that Carlo--a frontline immigrant Filipino healthcare worker--was set to be deported to the Philippines. His family and community called for support to demand permanent resident status for Carlo and a halt to his deportation. With pressure, we have successfully pushed his deportation to June 22. There is still more to be done to ensure that he has permanent resident status. Stay tuned for more updates and click here to sign the family's petition.
June 26 Education Assembly
On Saturday, June 26 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, join the OFL for another virtual province-wide Education Assembly to discuss what we all need from our education systems during COVID-19 and beyond.
Parents, teachers, students, child care workers, faculty, and support staff across education sectors are invited to come together to envision and discuss a seamless plan that works for the entire education sector, from child care to post-secondary education, across the province.
Click here to RSVP and get a link to join the webinar.
RSVP and share on Facebook here.
SUPPORT JUSTICE FOR WORKERS!
We know there is tremendous support for Justice for Workers. Indeed, over 83% of us support permanent paid sick days, including almost 70% of Ford voters. But to turn support into action, we need much greater financial resources than we currently have.
Just $5, $10, or $20 a month would make a huge difference in our ability to plan ahead and build the kind of infrastructure we need to send Ford packing and elect decent work champions in every riding in this province. Click here to become a monthly donor. Thank you so much in advance for any amount you can manage, we put every penny we receive to excellent use.
Thank you for everything you do every day to make decent work a reality for all of us. See you on Tuesday evening for the provincial organizing meeting. We can’t wait to see you there!