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Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Ontario’s Labour Laws

In light of the Ontario government’s launch of the Changing Workplaces Review earlier this year,  I think it is important to point out the flaws in our province’s Labour Relations Act .

Firstly, our minimum wage was frozen for four years at $10.25 — while the cost of living increased. This means that while the cost of living continues to increase, our provincial government neglected to investigate the cost of living versus minimum wage. Even with the recent increase to $11.25, it is still considered 16% below the poverty line. 

Employers hire more part-time, temporary, casual, and contract employees rather than full-time employees. Ontarians are juggling more than one part-time temporary job just to make a living. Employers are hiring part-time employees instead of making part-timers into full-time employees. Further increasing workers’ lack of job security, health benefits, unemployment benefits, and all other perks of being employed full-time.

Precarious workers do not have the luxury of enjoying paid sick days, health benefits, and pension benefits. Ontarians are juggling more than one part-time job with the constant fear of losing their jobs. In addition, they are forced to work unpredictable hours with little to no notice about their schedules. This leaves workers with a burden of scheduling their social and family responsibilities at the last minute.

There is hope — As our provincial government is currently pushing for reforms and changes in our Labour Relations Act, there is a group of activists fighting for equitable and just labour laws. The $15 & Fairness Campaign is demanding that the Ontario government makes minimum wage $15, and give precarious workers more hours, respect, and the rights to unionize. Visit their website to learn more, endorse the campaign & sign their petition — $15 and Fairness has made its way to the University of Windsor – to join the local initiative visit their Facebook page.  

Dhouha is a fourth-year student at the University of Windsor majoring in Women's and Gender Studies with a minor in History. Dhouha is a dual citizen of Tunisia and Canada, currently living in Windsor, Ontario. She is a writer & editor for HerCampus at UWindsor. Dhouha describes herself as a free-spirited social butterfly who is chasing every little thing her heart desires. In the future, she wishes to pursue an MA and a PhD. in Gender Studies.
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