Ontario NDP Calls For End Of Pilot Project That Shortchanges Auto Workers

‘The decision (by  Ontario’s Wynne government to restrict personal emergency leave days for autoworkers across the province) appears to have been made at a Wynne Liberal cabinet meeting held behind closed doors shortly before Kathleen Wynne went to Japan and met with major auto manufacturers.’ – Niagara area MPP Cindy Forster

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

Posted December 21st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster in Ontario legislature. File photo

Welland – Ontario NDP Labour critic MPP Cindy Forster is calling on the Liberal government to reverse its secretive decision to give auto workers in Ontario fewer personal emergency leave days than everyone else.

“It’s incredibly disappointing that Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government are cracking down on auto workers,” said Forster. “These people work hard, often in physically demanding roles, and they certainly deserve treatment that’s equal to what everyone else in the province is getting.” 

Forster is calling for an immediate end to a Liberal government pilot program for the auto and auto parts sector that restricts all workers to seven unpaid personal emergency days. That’s in comparison to almost every other worker in Ontario, who are entitled to 10 days of personal emergency leave, including two paid days.

One never knows what surprises are in store for Ontario’s workers, our communities and our environment and natural heritage places when the province’s Premier Kathleen flies off on business trips to cut deals in countries with much weaker rules for protecting workers and the environment.

The decision appears to have been made at a Wynne Liberal cabinet meeting held behind closed doors shortly before Kathleen Wynne went to Japan and met with major auto manufacturers.

“One of the plants most affected by this decision in Ontario is Toyota,” said Forster. “Workers there are not unionized and therefore not protected by any collective agreement.  They are subject to the whims of this Liberal government and are facing troubling labour practices as a result.”

Forster is calling on Wynne to ensure that auto workers receive the same workplace benefits as everyone else in Ontario.

“It’s time for this unfair regulation to change, immediately,” said Forster. “Treating auto workers worse than all other workers is just plain wrong.”  

Leader Andrea Horwath and the NDP have committed to changes to make life better for Ontario families, and give all workers more stability and more work-life balance.

Those commitments include:

  •  •         Three weeks paid vacation after the first year of employment, up from the current two
  • •         Ending exemptions that allow some worker categories to be paid less than minimum wage
  • •         Five paid days for illness or personal emergency, up from the current two
  • •         10 days paid leave for survivors of domestic violence to access medical care, find safe housing or participate in legal proceedings
  • •         Making it harder for employers to label long-time workers “contractors” instead of employees
  • •         Requiring temp workers to become permanent employees after 90 days of work
  • •         Requiring employers of temp workers to bear the same responsibilities as employers of all workers when a worker is injured or killed on the job
  • •         Protecting injured workers’ benefits from unfair clawbacks caused by deeming them eligible for jobs they never held

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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