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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 5:35 am
 


I like the Wynne Liberals because they're NOT mushy middle, business-pandering, "small-l liberals" like Chretien, Martin, Ignatieff, and Hillary Clinton. If they were, they wouldn't have my support. Contrary to accusations levelled here, I could care less about the name of the party name on the banner. These guys have shown yet again that they have guts to stand up to the business lobby and do the right thing instead of the usual muttering of platitudes and pandering to only the safest and most generic sentiments.

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Ontario plans big boost to minimum wage, update of labour laws: Cohn

Cabinet will soon decide on the biggest overhaul to Ontario's labour law in a generation — raising minimum wage up to $15 an hour, boosting private sector unionization and targeting companies that rely unfairly on part-time or contract work.

Sweeping labour reforms — and a dramatic rise in the minimum wage up to $15 an hour — could soon target companies relying unfairly on part-time or contract work that deprives many Ontarians of decent wages from steady employment.

Ontario’s Liberal government is debating a comprehensive update to labour laws that would boost private sector unionization, which has been declining at the same time as so-called precarious employment has left more and more people — middle class and working class — bouncing from one job to the next.

The provincial cabinet will decide next week how far to take the package of reforms spearheaded by Labour Minister Kevin Flynn after a two-year review, Changing Workplaces, headed by outside experts. But it could have far-reaching effects for people of all ages and all walks of life who worry about vacation time, job security and wage transparency as temporary workers are increasingly treated like second-class citizens.

Government sources say most elements are falling into place after public hearings and private lobbying that has pitted union demands against a backlash from the corporate sector — with the governing Liberals caught in the middle. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because cabinet deliberations are supposed to remain confidential.

In an interview, Flynn hinted strongly at the direction he is taking if he can win support from his cabinet colleagues. And with an election looming next year, the Liberals are also laying the groundwork for a campaign battle against the Opposition Progressive Conservatives, who have previously derided unions and opposed a higher minimum wage.

But as more workers face a future of instability and unpredictability, the government’s goal is “to rebalance what has become an unbalanced relationship where the employer holds all the cards,” Flynn told me.

“You can’t justify treating that part-time worker any differently than a full-time worker.”

Flynn argued that unionization is closely tied to higher living standards and employment protections, both of which have eroded in a changing workplace and world. The rise of franchise businesses and fragmented workplaces has made it much harder to organize workers into a union with rules dating from decades ago.

Among the major proposals going to cabinet before a public announcement later this month:

Reducing the hurdles to unionization in key sectors of the economy, affecting groups such as cleaning staff and home-care workers. Unlike traditional factories that lend themselves to union huddles and secret ballots, these workplaces are hard for organized labour to penetrate because they are small or scattered. The reforms would enable union organizers to sign up a majority of members using card-based certification, reducing the risk of intimidation by employers ahead of a formal vote because membership “is a constitutional right that all Canadians have,” Flynn argues.
Reversing the onus on part-time work, by forcing employers to clearly demonstrate why it’s not a full-time permanent job. Too many companies now disguise regular employees as independent contractors or part-timers to avoid paying them full wages and benefits. “If someone is doing what any average person would construe as a doing a full-time job … that’s not a contractor,” Flynn says. “That may be somebody posing as a contractor.”
Boosting vacation pay from the minimum two weeks under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act to the three weeks that is standard in most industrialized countries. And tightening up the language in labour law to eliminate loopholes used by employers trying to dodge their responsibilities.
Beyond the legal reforms, the Liberals plan on a major boost to the minimum wage starting this year, jumping from the current $11.40 an hour to as high as $15 when it is fully phased in. A wage hike was not part of the Changing Workplaces mandate, and is being announced separately — but it is very much linked to the reforms.

Flynn notes that any worker still judges his worth by his wage, no matter the working conditions. Back in 2014, the Liberals announced with great fanfare that they had come up with a new mechanism to set a fair base wage of $11 an hour, with regular adjustments for inflation, which would insulate the process from political pressures while putting Ontario ahead of the pack.

But the labour minister and other government sources acknowledge that the world and the workplace have changed even since then. Some American states and Canadian provinces have set minimum wages far higher as the debate has leapfrogged Ontario, which now lags.

The pending reforms would be the first major overhaul in a generation. The NDP government of Bob Rae toughened up labour laws by banning replacement workers during strikes, but the Mike Harris Tories pointedly rolled that back — also removing basic union rights dating from the previous Progressive Conservative government of Bill Davis.

Now, Flynn wants to level the playing field, recognizing that neither labour nor business will be satisfied. Loath to relive the ideological battles of past years, he is leaning against any ban on so-called “scab workers” for fear of shifting too much power to unions to shut down companies during disputes.

Nor is the government likely to force franchises to be organized as a single bloc by unions. A franchise head office typically argues that it can’t enforce compliance with employment standards by the private companies that hold individual franchises, even though they can dictate the cut of french fries. Flynn says he heard from all sides, and concluded that he will count on compliance with the law, without restructuring franchise arrangements.

The labour minister expects unions to be publicly critical but privately content with the gains in any final announcement. He is braced for pushback from the private sector and the business press, but dismisses their warnings that higher unionization and labour standards will drive investment out of Ontario.

The provincial economy is booming and there is money to be made from supplying a market of 14 million people. He notes that many business owners who demand flexibility to hire and fire part-timers while paying them less admit to personal frustration that their own grown children live at home because they can’t find steady work.


Martin Regg Cohn’s political column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. mcohn@thestar.ca , Twitter: @reggcohn



https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark ... -cohn.html


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:06 am
 


I know it's a popular liberal talking point ($15/hour minimum wage), but it's just a bad idea - we're doing it here in Alberta and it's causing companies to: scale back hiring, raise prices or close down altogether.

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2016/07/26/o ... -wage-hike

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/a ... -1.3368376

If you want to help people in McJobs, the best method is helping train those who want a career, so that someday they pay income tax like everyone else.

Give a person a fish, feed them for a day, teach them to fish, feed them for life. :idea:


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:17 am
 


bootlegga wrote:


Give a person a fish, feed them for a day, teach them to fish, feed them for life. :idea:


If that was to happen the Wynne liberals would put a hefty tax on fishing.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:32 am
 


It will be interesting to see if they can do anything about the part time and temp positions. Around here there are more and more places that only hire part time or fill positions with temps. Though if I had a small business I would be using a temp service to weed out people. Much easier to say your contract is up and we are not renewing than fire someone even if it's with cause


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 9:33 am
 


bootlegga wrote:

If you want to help people in McJobs, the best method is helping train those who want a career, so that someday they pay income tax like everyone else.

Give a person a fish, feed them for a day, teach them to fish, feed them for life. :idea:


That would be the solution if the goal was to eliminate McJobs altogether, but that's not the goal....our society still needs people to ring up our big macs and mop the bathroom after someone pisses all over the floor. If a certain amount of the needed jobs are always going to be minimum wage jobs, then career training alone doesn't solve the problem of the working poor - it just helps individuals ensure that SOMEONE ELSE is the working poor. Kind of like saying that the only solution needed to address bear attacks is teaching campers how to outrun their friends


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 9:58 am
 


bootlegga wrote:
If you want to help people in McJobs, the best method is helping train those who want a career, so that someday they pay income tax like everyone else.


I'm sorry, but your request does not show dividends within a 4 year election cycle.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 11:12 am
 


You need to catch up. Ontario already intoduced free and subsidized post-secondary tuition recently

https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2017/03/ ... dents.html


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:16 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
my support. Contrary to accusations levelled here, I could care less about the name of the party name on the banner.


I always appreciate a good joke on a Saturday. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 2:15 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
bootlegga wrote:

If you want to help people in McJobs, the best method is helping train those who want a career, so that someday they pay income tax like everyone else.

Give a person a fish, feed them for a day, teach them to fish, feed them for life. :idea:


That would be the solution if the goal was to eliminate McJobs altogether, but that's not the goal....our society still needs people to ring up our big macs and mop the bathroom after someone pisses all over the floor. If a certain amount of the needed jobs are always going to be minimum wage jobs, then career training alone doesn't solve the problem of the working poor - it just helps individuals ensure that SOMEONE ELSE is the working poor. Kind of like saying that the only solution needed to address bear attacks is teaching campers how to outrun their friends


If the point of raising minimum wage is ultimately to help people working FT McJobs, then it's better to get them out of FT McJobs completely and into a FT career.

Some people, teenagers, seniors, and immigrants to name a few, will always work PT McJobs, and there's nothing wrong with that in my books.

However, should anyone desire a better FT job, a career is better than leaving them in McJobs forever - unless you actually want a permanent class of slaves to do all the shit jobs.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 2:16 pm
 


peck420 wrote:
bootlegga wrote:
If you want to help people in McJobs, the best method is helping train those who want a career, so that someday they pay income tax like everyone else.


I'm sorry, but your request does not show dividends within a 4 year election cycle.


That and raising the minimum wage is a move that doesn't cost the government any money, whereas training programs would cost a fair bit.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 2:46 pm
 


bootlegga wrote:
BeaverFever wrote:
bootlegga wrote:

If you want to help people in McJobs, the best method is helping train those who want a career, so that someday they pay income tax like everyone else.

Give a person a fish, feed them for a day, teach them to fish, feed them for life. :idea:


That would be the solution if the goal was to eliminate McJobs altogether, but that's not the goal....our society still needs people to ring up our big macs and mop the bathroom after someone pisses all over the floor. If a certain amount of the needed jobs are always going to be minimum wage jobs, then career training alone doesn't solve the problem of the working poor - it just helps individuals ensure that SOMEONE ELSE is the working poor. Kind of like saying that the only solution needed to address bear attacks is teaching campers how to outrun their friends


If the point of raising minimum wage is ultimately to help people working FT McJobs, then it's better to get them out of FT McJobs completely and into a FT career.

Some people, teenagers, seniors, and immigrants to name a few, will always work PT McJobs, and there's nothing wrong with that in my books.

However, should anyone desire a better FT job, a career is better than leaving them in McJobs forever - unless you actually want a permanent class of slaves to do all the shit jobs.


Whether FT or PT,, either way our economy and way of life depends on A LOT of people actually working these these McJobs. Regardless of whether these people aspire to something greater some day, the goal is to reduce poverty and especially eliminate the plague of "working poor" by making these jobs pay better.

There's nothing wrong with people working low skilled jobs as I've said we rely on these jobs and an abundant budget supply of people willing to work them. We're not trying to get every McWorker to quit their job and go back to school, we need people doubt these jobs. We just don't want them to be destitute while they're doing it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 3:40 pm
 


Coach85 wrote:
BeaverFever wrote:
my support. Contrary to accusations levelled here, I could care less about the name of the party name on the banner.


I always appreciate a good joke on a Saturday. :lol:


As I said I defend them because I like their policies, not the other way around.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:35 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:

Whether FT or PT,, either way our economy and way of life depends on A LOT of people actually working these these McJobs. Regardless of whether these people aspire to something greater some day, the goal is to reduce poverty and especially eliminate the plague of "working poor" by making these jobs pay better.

There's nothing wrong with people working low skilled jobs as I've said we rely on these jobs and an abundant budget supply of people willing to work them. We're not trying to get every McWorker to quit their job and go back to school, we need people doubt these jobs. We just don't want them to be destitute while they're doing it.


If the job is to reduce poverty, this isn't going to help.

It's all relative. When wages go up, prices go up and our monthly expenditures go up. More money is coming in, but we're also having to spend more monthly.

We need people in these jobs. No question about that. These jobs should be looked at steps within a career, not a final destination.

The mistake we're making is trying to make these types of jobs as a place where people are happy to stay and make a career out of it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:40 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Coach85 wrote:
BeaverFever wrote:
my support. Contrary to accusations levelled here, I could care less about the name of the party name on the banner.


I always appreciate a good joke on a Saturday. :lol:


As I said I defend them because I like their policies, not the other way around.



You are one of the few. With a record-low approval rating of 12%, there aren't many Ontarians that like any of their policies.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 9:22 pm
 


Coach85 wrote:
We need people in these jobs. No question about that. These jobs should be looked at steps within a career, not a final destination.

The mistake we're making is trying to make these types of jobs as a place where people are happy to stay and make a career out of it.


Exactly!


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