April 4, 2017
TORONTO – Unifor urges the Ontario government to approve a private members’ bill to amend the Labour Relations Act and restore card check certification to allow workers to join unions without a second step.
“This Government has an opportunity to make a lasting difference for workers by changing labour laws to ensure fairness in the workplace,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “If reducing poverty, improving women's equality, supporting good jobs, and stabilizing a precarious work climate are priorities, then the Ontario government must get behind this bill to ensure it passes.”
Today Welland MPP and Ontario NDP Labour Critic Cindy Forster, tabled legislation that would give Ontario workers improved access to unions. Forster’s bill, Fairness in First Contracts and the Right to Representation Act 2017, would make it easier for workers to unionize by removing the cumbersome second vote process and reducing the lengthy process to unionization when a majority of workers wish to join a union.
Unifor expressed its support for the bill because while some legal protections exist in Ontario there is a real power imbalance when workers attempt to unionize. Samia Hashi, a young worker who recently helped organize her own workplace to join Unifor stressed the importance of card check. “I never understood why workers have to prove twice their desire to join a union. It’s just unfair. While many changes are needed and are long overdue in Ontario, card check is a vital step to stop employers from having an upper hand to intimidate and harass workers for exercising their democratic right to join a union.”
The union stated that the bill is an important piece for workers but other key priorities are needed to strengthen the minimum standards of Ontario’s labour laws. Along with thousands of workers in the province, Unifor is eagerly awaiting solid proposals by the government’s Changing Workplaces Review. “For workers in this province to experience fair working conditions and a living wage, the Ontario government must step up and bring about concrete changes. It is simply about priorities and it can and must be done,” Rizvi said.
Unifor's submission to the Ontario Changing Workplaces Review can be found at unifor.org/changingworkplaces.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Unifor Communications Director Denise Hammond at email@example.com or (416) 707-5794-3307(cell).