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News · The passage of Bill 47: A statement from OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof

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The passage of Bill 47: A statement from OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof

November 21, 2018 — Today the Doug Ford government ignored both the best interests and the vocal objections of working people all over Ontario and passed Bill 47, effectively gutting the hard-won reforms to labour laws and employment standards that came into effect last year under Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

Bill 47 is based on the false premise that improved employment standards and an increase in the minimum wage have killed jobs – a notion that flies in the face of virtually all available evidence and data, not just from Ontario but from many other jurisdictions. As a result of this government’s now-familiar pattern of ignoring evidence in favour of ideology, the clock has been turned back and major improvements in areas such as sick leave, vacation time, fair scheduling practices and equal pay for casual and part-time employees have now been pulled out from under some of the most vulnerable workers in Ontario.

That this legislation was pushed through in spite of a massive public outcry serves only to confirm that this is not a government “for the people” at all, but rather a government that is receptive almost exclusively to the powerful lobby of business interests.

This is a very sad day for workers in Ontario, but we in the labour movement will not be discouraged from continuing to fight for the rights of workers, unionized or not. OSSTF/FEESO will continue to support the grassroots efforts of the Fight for $15 and Fairness, and we will oppose any action on the part of the government that attacks the rights of working people in Ontario.

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