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News · Repeal of Bill 148: A statement from OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof

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Repeal of Bill 148: A statement from OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof

October 23, 2018 — Today the Ford government announced legislation that will repeal or diminish almost all of the long-overdue reforms to employment standards and labour legislation that were achieved last year when Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, was passed by the previous government.

This announcement constitutes a colossal step backward for the rights of working people in Ontario. The entire labour movement, along with grass-roots movements like the Fight for $15 and Fairness, worked tirelessly for almost four years in support of the first significant reforms to labour and employment standards legislation in decades. Bill 148 contained major improvements for workers in areas like sick leave, vacation time, fair scheduling practices and equal pay for casual and part-time workers. It also would have increased the minimum wage to $15 per hour in January 2019.

It’s clear from today’s announcement, however, that the Ford government is determined to revert to a regulatory framework that is woefully inadequate when it comes to protecting the rights and working conditions of working people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of Ontarians who are trapped in low-wage, precarious jobs.

This action will negatively affect some OSSTF/FEESO members and many, many more of our students, through the impact on their own working conditions or those of their parents. It is a shame that the Ford government put the interests of a powerful business lobby ahead of the real needs of working people and their children.

OSSTF/FEESO calls on the Ford government to reverse this decision immediately, and keep its hands off the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

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