The Past, Present and Future of Ontario Labour
There’s no doubt about it – the labour industry saw a major transformation in 2018. Even in the last few months of the year, we were introduced to a number of changes – changes that will ultimately impact workers throughout 2019.
In 2018, we saw significant changes to the labour industry, including:
- Bill 47 – the Making Ontario Open for Business Act
- Minimum wage frozen at $14 over the next two years
- Eliminated right to 2 paid sick days
- Removal of equal pay for equal work
- Back-to-Work Legislation
- Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) ordered back to work
- York University Strike ordered to end
- General Motors Plant closure in Oshawa
- Over 2500 employees will lose their jobs
- USMCA Agreement
- Trade agreement between Canada, United States and Mexico
- Directly impacts international labour relations, specifically in the auto industry
- Debates over LGBT+ workers protections
- Bill 66 – Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act
- If this Bill passes, it will severely impact several industries (labour, environmental, construction, and child-care to name a few)
Every individual has a right to feel safe at work – yet we are seeing increasing threats to workers’ rights and protections.
What the labour industry saw in 2018, was the concerning increase in government protections for big businesses while workers were subsequently neglected, and at times, even punished. Workers are being further pushed to the sidelines everyday, while the government cozies up to big businesses.
Now, more than ever, we see how important union engagement is. Without unions, workers would be further taken advantage of by the 1% who need them, yet do not value them. By taking action and getting involved in our unions, we can be instrumental in creating better working conditions for everyone – whether they are in Canada or any other part of the world.
In 2019, it is essential that workers all around the globe unite and show solidarity towards one another. Together, the entire labour movement can make a difference in how workers are treated, and will be the leading figures in creating meaningful change.