Friday, February 25, 2011

Goar: Law Commission goes to bat for vulnerable workers.

Finally, someone is listening.

The Law Commission of Ontario wants to hear from workers in precarious, low-wage jobs, the temporary agencies who employ them, the businesses that use them, the advocates who speak out for them, the bureaucrats who are supposed to protect them and the public.

No one has done this before. The federal government has ignored the emergence of a large underclass of vulnerable workers (roughly 2.2 million Canadians). The province has plugged the worst holes in the Employment Standards Act, but only to mollify anti-poverty activists. Unions have watched helplessly as the rights they fought for have been rolled back. Businesses have been largely silent, not wanting to jeopardize a good bargain.

The Law Commission’s consultations run from now until April 1. The objective is to come up with a set of legal reforms and policy changes that would ameliorate the plight of vulnerable workers and bring the province’s employment law into the 21st century. The target date is April, 2012.

For more information on the Law Commission Report report on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work project please go to the Law Commission.

Read the full article on the Toronto Star.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Law Commission of Ontario Releases Consultation Paper on Vulnerable Workers in Ontario

Law Commission of Ontario Releases Consultation Paper on Vulnerable Workers in Ontario

The Law Commission of Ontario’s Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work Project reviews the nature of precarious work, the identity of vulnerable workers, the existing protections and enforcement mechanisms for people engaged in these forms of paid work and the impact of precarious work on the daily lives of vulnerable workers and their families.

The LCO has prepared a Consultation Paper and more detailed Background Paper to identify issues and potential areas of reform, and to provide a focal point for discussion and consultation. Some people may choose to read only the Consultation Paper which is a freestanding document. The LCO is interested in hearing from anyone with an interest in these issues, including workers, employers, academics, government and the public at large.

For more information please go to the Law Commission of Ontairo

2010-2011 Migrant Farm Worker Report Published

Report finds federal government complicit in Canada’s abuse of migrant farm workers

Canada’s most comprehensive annual report on the challenges facing migrant farm workers has been released. It confirms that abuse and exploitation of migrant farm workers are rampant in Canada’s agriculture industry.

The 2010-2011 Status of Migrant Farm Workers in Canada report is published by UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA). For more than two decades UFCW Canada has been a leading advocate for farm workers' rights, and in association with the AWA operates 10 agriculture worker support centres across Canada.

For the full report visit UFCW

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Salon Worker fired over headscarf, she says

A young Markham woman who works as an esthetician claims she was fired for wearing an Islamic headscarf because the salon “promotes hair.”

Mehwish Ali, a 22-year-old esthetician with Trade Secrets in Pickering, was fired Tuesday, a day after she says the co-owner told her the hijab was unacceptable.

“I was devastated when I heard that,” Ali told the Star. “I have worn the hijab for more than 10 years and never felt any kind of discrimination.”

The hijab, burqa and niqab, all Islamic gear worn by women, have been generally accepted in Canada but complaints like these are still common, said Jennifer Ramsay of Human Rights Legal Support Centre in Toronto.

“It’s unfortunate but we do get a lot of complaints,” said Ramsay. “It is perplexing.”

Read the full article on the Toronto Star.

Lear more about your Human Rights at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.