News

Petition to protect pensions

Pensioners should not be last on the list to be paid when companies go bankrupt. Workers pay into their pension funds and that money belongs to the workers. The government must protect pensions now!

I am adding my name to the following petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

WHEREAS the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario legislative mandate is to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest and enhance public confidence in the sectors it regulates; and

WHEREAS the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario is responsible for the good administration of pension plans and to protect and safeguard the pension benefits and rights of pension plan beneficiaries.

We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

To enshrine the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario with the abilities to: 

 

a. Block or place conditions on company takeovers, as well as bankruptcy and insolvency processes deemed to put pensions at risk. 

b. Ensure that any pension plan is funded at 100% prior to paying any secured creditors. 

c.  Ensure payment to workers, including any termination, severance pay and health benefits owing prior to any secured creditors. 

d. Ensure prevention of companies from stopping the payment of any retirement benefits during any proceedings under the bankruptcy and insolvency process.

e. To issue punitive fines on company directors and executives in cases of clear wrong doing and to claw back directors' and executives' bonuses after a company pension plan collapses.

  

No COVID Evictions!

No COVID Evictions! - Power of Many

In March, Doug Ford said no one would be evicted during a pandemic. But Ontario’s eviction moratorium was lifted in August and the Landlord and Tenant Board is undergoing an “Eviction Blitz” as they rush through as many hearings as possible. 

NDP MPP Suze Morrison recently tabled a motion in Ontario’s Legislature calling for an eviction ban until Ontario is in a post-pandemic recovery period. 

Email Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark and your MPP urging them to support Motion #125 and immediately reinstate an eviction ban in Ontario.  

Resume the Legislature!

Resume the Legislature! - Power of Many

The Ontario legislature is in recess while the province continues to break single-day records for COVID-19 cases and deaths. This means that urgent work like legislating paid sick days, addressing understaffing in long-term care, establishing a plan for safer classrooms, and developing a comprehensive vaccine rollout program has been put on pause.

We cannot wait until February 16 for Ford to return to Queen’s Park. Call on Doug Ford and your MPP to reconvene the legislature immediately to:

  • Legislate paid sick days
  • Fix the long-term care crisis
  • Establish a safer education plan
  • Ramp-up vaccine rollout

National Survey on Workplace Violence and Harassment

 

 


To: 


Members of CLC Canadian Council 

 

Labour Council Presidents 


Greetings,

 

Thank you for your assistance in promoting the national survey on workplace violence and harassment to your members. 

The survey, which is being conducted with researchers at Western University and the University of Toronto, is the first ever survey on violence and sexual harassment in the workplace with a national reach in Canada.

Like the groundbreaking Domestic Violence at Work project, the results of this research will inform policy and education initiatives on workplace violence and sexual harassment.

We are more than halfway through the survey period, which closes on April 21, 2021.

The response has been good so far but the researchers are hoping for more uptake, particularly amongst workers in federally-regulated sectors.

Workers of all genders should be encouraged to fill it out, whether or not they have experienced or witnessed violence and harassment at work. 

We are counting on all affiliates, federations of labour and labour councils to help spread the word. Please continue to promote the survey to your members until it closes. Below, you will find links to the following downloadable files to help with this effort:

1) Template emails for locals and members

2) Social media shareables

The survey is online here. Please share it with your members on all the platforms you use to communicate with them.

For any questions, please contact our Human Rights Department at [email protected].

In solidarity,

 

Hassan Yussuff                           

Marie Clarke Walker

President

Secretary-Treasurer


Link: Official Letter

 

Destinataires : 

Membres du Conseil canadien du CTC 

 

Présidences des conseils du travail

 

Bonjour,

Nous vous remercions de votre aide dans la promotion du sondage national sur la violence et le harcèlement au travail auprès de vos membres.

L’enquête, qui est menée par des enquêteuses de l’Université Western et de l’Université de Toronto, est la toute première sur la violence et le harcèlement sexuel au travail à l’échelle nationale au Canada.

À l’instar du projet novateur sur la violence familiale au travail, les résultats de cette enquête permettront d’élaborer des initiatives en matière de politiques et d’éducation sur la violence et le harcèlement sexuel au travail.

Le sondage se termine le 21 avril 2021, ce qui signifie que plus de la moitié de la période de sondage s’est écoulée.

Le taux de réponse est satisfaisant jusqu’à présent, mais les enquêteuses espèrent une plus grande participation, en particulier parmi les travailleuses et travailleurs des secteurs sous réglementation. Les travailleuses et travailleurs de tous les genres doivent être encouragés à remplir le sondage, qu’ils aient ou non fait l’objet ou été témoins de violence ou de harcèlement au travail. 

 

Nous comptons sur tous les affiliés, les fédérations du travail et les conseils du travail pour nous aider à faire passer le mot. Veuillez continuer à promouvoir le sondage auprès de vos membres jusqu’à ce qu’il prenne fin. Pour vous faciliter la tâche, vous trouverez ci-dessous les liens à des fichiers téléchargeables suivants :

1) Modèles de courriels pour les sections locales et les membres

2) Contenu à partager sur les médias sociaux

Le sondage est en ligne ici. Veuillez le partager auprès de vos membres sur toutes les plateformes que vous utilisez pour communiquer avec eux.

Pour toute question, veuillez communiquer avec notre Service des droits de la personne à
[email protected].

En toute solidarité,

 

Le président,                           

La secrétaire-trésorière,

Hassan Yussuff

Marie Clarke Walker



Lien: lettre officielle

 

           
Click here to unsubscribe from the CLC mailing list
Cliquez ici pour vous désinscrire de la liste de courriels du CTC

 

Canadian Labour Congress / Congrès du travail du Canada

Paid Sick Days a Requirement

For Immediate Release-Grey Bruce Labour Council

Paid Sick Days

It is hard to imagine a place taking a harder turn away from social progress as quickly and with such disastrous effects for citizens as Ontario undertook in the horrific regime of the Harris Tories of the mid- nineties and early twenty first century. Not since the days of Leslie Frost had so much progress been undermined and turned back. That is until the Doug Ford Tories were elected in the summer of 2018.

“The Ford Tories were elected on a populist agenda with its biggest selling point being “dollar a beer” and changing license plate colours. Not exactly an agenda that should have appealed to anyone looking out for the long term well being of Canada’s most populous province”, says Grey Bruce Labour Council Vice President for Bruce County, Dave Trumble. Unfortunately the “dog whistles” grabbed the electorate’s low hanging fruit.

This weak kneed Conservative election campaign declined to put forth any policy platform. Labour knew that, as much as possible, any Conservative government would align as quickly as possible with their minders such as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and many local Chambers of Commerce to topple and roll back legislation that would bring forward improvements to working conditions, labour law and health and safety legislation for workers. Labour Council President, Kevin Smith notes, “the prediction was absolutely correct”.

The Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne, no stalwart friend of labour or working people, had for any number of reasons come to the conclusion that the time for labour law and employment standards reform was grossly overdue. The last progressive labour law reform had been upended by the Harris, laughably called, “Common Sense Revolution”. Labour Council Vice President for Grey County, Chris Stephen, knows as a previous candidate for the NDP “that Liberals are seldom aligned with workers for any other reason than to secure votes, but at least the reforms of late 2017 made a real difference”. A public employee, Stephen is painfully aware of the vast and unbridled privatization agenda of the Tories and how little the Liberals did to change this course. Nonetheless, there was hope in the labour law reform.

At the time the increase to a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage garnered the headlines. Employers and their various associations claimed that the end of life on earth was at hand if the increase in minimum wage to come to fruition. “Of course every modern economic model proved them wrong, but like a “dollar a beer” this was low hanging fruit for Ford and his cronies” says Smith. As important, if not more so, to workers and the reform agenda was the drive for some degree of sick leave provision. The provision, woefully inadequate as it was, was two paid sick days with ten days of leave in total. “Despite this meagre reform the Ford government wasted no time in eliminating this provision, amongst others” says Trumble.

With the remainder of 2018, all of 2019 and the first couple of months of 2020 the Ford Conservatives did not alter course. They “gutted” these progressive labour and employment standards changes from late 2017 while pursuing what Conservatives know as their only platform, doing all that is possible to undermine public services and any provisions that would elevate and improve working conditions for Ontario workers. “Little did anyone know that these choices would injure, make ill and likely kill people in the numbers we see in the pandemic”, says Trumble.

Labour leaders have called for a reckoning in a post COVID-19 world where those responsible for legislative choices that put our healthcare at risk will be somehow held to account. The Grey Bruce Labour Council will be privileged and anxious to make sure that the world knows of the reprehensible choices by the Ford Conservatives and any government that has sacrificed public services on the alter of tax cuts and privatization.

Smith points at the “The Ford Tories are so bound to their regressive dogma that they cannot even see the harm in real time that is being done as they rigidly and dispassionately deny a meagre 10 days of paid sick leave for Ontario workers”. The vast majority of workers without similar or better sick leave provisions are those that have carried the rest of us through the pandemic and they are the very ones that are choosing to feed their families or stay home when the don’t feel well. Of course these amazing workers are doing all they can to serve and protect all of us by doing what is best, “but the profound failure of the Ford Conservatives to push back against their handlers and employer associations is putting workers in untenable situations and without a doubt this has cost COVID-19 infections and lives. The caucus of obsequious MPP’s in Ford’s government must be held accountable for enabling the vastly unavoidable carnage of worker’s lives”, says the Grey Bruce Labour Council Executive.

The damage and shame of the Ford Conservatives will resonate long after COVID-19.

 

 

 

Union Safety Effect

News about the latest studies confirming the “union safety effect” (mailchi.mp)



A Publication of the Workers Health & Safety Centre

January 15, 2021

 
 

 

Safety effect for unionized Ontario construction sites grows stronger, study

A new study confirms previous research which finds unionized construction sites in Ontario are safer and workers on those sites experience fewer work-related injuries.

The “union safety effect”, a short-hand phrase for the role unions play in improved occupational health and safety outcomes, has grown stronger in recent years according to the study. Researchers suggest unions may promote safer working conditions by negotiating protections in collective agreements, ensuring regulatory compliance, offering information and training to members, participating on health and safety committees, advocating for hazard controls and empowering workers to exercise their rights.

Documenting a “union safety effect”

The new study was conducted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) for the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS), a joint labour-management organization that represents the collective interests of the unionized construction industry in Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction sector. Robert Bronk, OCS Chief Executive Officer said in releasing the new study, “The data doesn’t lie and reaffirms what we have always suspected. It is encouraging to see data that assures a unionized job is being done properly and safely by people who are fully trained in what their tasks are.” 

The study, an update to research completed in 2015, was carried out by a research team led by IWH scientist, Dr. Linda Robson. Its more recent findings were presented at a webinar hosted by IWH as part of its ongoing speaker series.
 
Researchers drew upon Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board data from 60,425 company classification units (corresponding to construction activity) and from 58,837 companies matched to records of unionization (provided by OCS). In such a way they were able to examine the relationship between unionization and injury claim incidence between 2012 and 2018 and to examine how findings vary by company size and types of construction work. Injury/illness claims examined included lost-time allowed (LTA) claims, musculoskeletal LTA, critical (severe) LTA, no-lost-time allowed, total allowed, and total allowed claims and those not allowed. The study did not review occupational disease claims.

Study findings

Researchers reaffirmed a union safety effect and report with “a high degree of confidence” the association had grown stronger since the previous study. The researchers report, on unionized construction sites (compared to non-union sites):

·  lost-time injury claims were 31 per cent lower (23 per cent in 2015)

·  Critical injury claims were 29 per cent lower (30 per cent in 2015).

·  Musculoskeletal injury claims 25 per cent lower (17 per cent in 2015)

·  The union effect was stronger in larger workplaces. Work sites with 50 or more employees had LTA rates 44 per cent lower, with 20-49 employees, rates were 24 per cent lower, with 5-19 employee, rates were 25 per cent lower. No union effect was observed in workplaces with less than 4 employees.

·  While the 2015 research found unionized workplaces reported more no lost-time injuries, that finding was not statistically significant in the updated study.  

The authors of the new study suggest training is among the factors that may promote a safety effect noting, “With training and union backing, unionized workers could be more empowered to report on unsafe conditions, refuse unsafe work and ensure enforcement when needed.” Other factors in play may include higher journeyman-to-apprentice ratios, less worker turnover and longer job tenure. IWH research has found workers who are temporary, new to a job or newcomers to Canada can be at increased risk of injury.

Similar research conclusions

Others suggest unions play an important role in pressing for increased enforcement. A recent U.S. study published in the International Law Review showed positive effects of union certification on an organization’s rate of Occupational Safety & Health Administration inspection, the percentage of inspections carried out in the presence of a union representative, violations cited, and penalties assessed.

Another study, published during the current pandemic in the journal Health Affairs, found the presence of a union in New York State long-term care homes unionization was associated with better access to personal protective equipment, something the authors suggest was also a factor in improved patient outcomes. Unionized homes had a 30 per cent relative reduction in resident death rates from COVID-19 and a 40 per cent relative reduction in rate of resident infection.

Closer to home an important and growing body of research by LOARC, a labour-driven group of researchers, has also been examining the factors, including knowledge activism, which contributes to worker representative success in achieving safer, healthier work. 

WHSC virtual classroom. Learning and safety assured.

Most Ontario workplaces regularly employing 20 or more workers are required to have a joint health and safety committee (JHSC), including construction projects expected to last three or more months. While training all health and safety representatives to carry out their considerable functions is always good practice, once a construction project employs 50 or more workers and lasts three or more months Ontario law requires the committee to establish a worker trades committee and train at least two representatives chosen to serve as certified representatives, one representing workers and another the employer.

The COVID-19 crisis presented an unprecedented challenge in terms of providing access to WHSC’s essential and mandatory training programs. WHSC quickly retooled our delivery model in a way we could still ensure the integrity of our training and safety of participants and instructors. This we achieved with our WHSC virtual classroom training.  

For virtual training, all that is required by the participant is a high-speed internet connection and a computer with a functioning camera and audio. When registering be sure to supply the participant’s home address, as resource materials critical to successful participation will be shipped to this address.

Be sure to check out our complete schedule of virtual classroom training, including COVID-19, GHS-WHMIS and Certification Part I, Part II and Refresher training. Properly trained, certified joint health and safety committee members can play a critical role in creating safe and healthy workplaces and in controlling COVID-19 exposures. For this reason, we have offered JHSC Certification training in safe, virtual classrooms throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so this winter. 

Beyond scheduled classes, and where participant numbers warrant, we can also work with you to coordinate almost any of our training courses in a virtual classroom for all workers, workplace representatives and supervisors.

Need more information still?
Call a WHSC training services representative in your area.
Email: [email protected]
Visit: www.whsc.on.ca
Follow us too on TwitterFacebookYouTube and LinkedIn.

Additional related resources:
How unions make a difference on health and safety. A TUC guide to the evidence
COVID-19-Resources

Ontario Health Coalition Emergency Press Release

Emergency: COVID-19 Crisis Situation In Ontario Requires Stronger Measures AND Stronger Supports for People Impacted, Today is Deadliest Day of Pandemic So Far

 

Toronto – Today is the deadliest day of the pandemic so far, 89 people died in the last 24-hour period. By every measure the situation is critical, warns the Ontario Health Coalition, and there can be no question remaining that stronger measures are needed to control the devastation the virus is wreaking. At the same time, stronger supports for people who are the most impacted need to be an integral part of the strategy.

 

Hospitals:-

  • Public hospitals, which continue to make superhuman efforts to fill gaps, provide vital leadership and support across the health system, and keep hospital services open at the same time, are now at or above full capacity across the board.
  • In Toronto, physicians are publicly reporting no beds, no resuscitation rooms, ICUs full, nowhere to admit patients.
  • The Burlington field hospital is open and patients from full hospitals in the region are being transferred there.
  • Morgues in London and Windsor are now full.
  • The Ontario Hospital Association is calling the situation “extremely serious” has put into effect its surge plans and is warning that ICU capacity (across the province) will be exceeded in coming weeks. It is planning for large scale transfers of patients.
  • ICUs from Chatham through the GTA are full (both with COVID patients and other patients). Surgeries and other care are being cancelled as a result.

 

Long-Term Care:-

  • 218 long-term care homes are in outbreak. Despite the continued denial, downplaying and dissembling by the Minister of Long-Term Care, the numbers are truly alarming. There are 160 new cases in the last 24 hours in long-term care, and 34 new deaths. There are 2,488 currently active cases in the last 24-hours (1,258 residents  1,230 staff), the most so far in the second wave. The deaths, which follow infections by several weeks, have escalated dramatically month over month since October.
  • Tragically, we have to report the escalation of deaths in long-term care in the second wave as follows:

October 15 => 39

November 15 => 229 that is 190 in a month

December 15 => 576 that is 347 in a month

January 6 => 1,045 that is 469 in 3 weeks

 

Statement from the Ontario Health Coalition:

 

“The Ontario Health Coalition is in full support of stronger public health measures, including stronger safety and infection control measures in open businesses, full public reporting of outbreaks, more effective and coherent shutdowns.

 

We do not say this lightly. We understand that shutdowns have impacts on health and well-being and that shutdown measures must include much stronger support measures for individuals, families, communities and local businesses.

 

Just as the terrible toll of the virus impacts some people more than others—racialized communities, working class and low-income people, the elderly, people in supportive congregate care among others – so too the shutdowns impact some groups more than others.

 

Understanding this, Ontarians need to take extraordinary and stronger measures to save the lives and health of people in our province and at the same time, individuals whose employment has been or will be impacted need full support for income and housing, and local businesses need full supports to survive the pandemic.

 

Families at risk and people, including young people, with mental health needs, need extra resources and support.

 

Our government can do a much better job of providing coordination and supports for these protections.

 

Across the board we need a much more competent response from our provincial government, including:

 

  • Stronger, more coherent public health measures, including a fast ramp up of testing, contact tracing and quarantine capacity in public health and labs must be undertaken now so that the province can get the spread of the virus under control.
  • There must be fewer contacts among people to reduce community and workplace transmission and stronger public health measures across the board, including shutdowns and stronger safety measures in open businesses, must be undertaken.
  • Ontarians need to stay home as much as possible.
  • The crisis in staffing capacity in long-term care must be addressed without any further delay. We need a large-scale paid recruitment, training and deployment of staff, with improved wages and working conditions for those staff. This needs to start right away. LTC homes must have systematic interventions at a very early point in outbreaks to stabilize staffing and ensure infection control practices are followed; and resources for cohorting must be provided, including field hospitals or similar. Hospital teams must be sent into all of the homes where staffing has fallen to unsafe levels and the military is needed as an emergency measure where hospital overloads are delaying decisions to send in teams. Long-term care homes that are demonstrating negligence and incompetence must face strong accountability measures, orders, fines and license revocations.
  • Wherever possible, public field hospitals or the like need to be staffed and opened to help with the overload of residents in long-term care and retirement homes with COVID-19 and the hospital overload. All-hands-on-deck are needed now. The province must help with a major recruitment drive to get staff to ramp up this capacity.
  • The vaccine roll-out needs to be coherent, competent and much faster. All long-term care and retirement home staff, residents and essential care givers must be vaccinated as a priority without delay. The thousands of health professionals from primary and community care that have volunteered to staff 24/7 vaccination clinics and teams must be integrated into the roll-out to maximize capacity and public health nurses must be included as leaders in the planning because they have the with the experience and expertise for mass-scale vaccine roll out.
  • Community care, which is taking more of the burden of COVID-19 cases as hospitals are full, must be provided with clear directives to ensure staff have proper PPE including N95 masks.”