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The labour movement is telling Doug Ford "Hands off workers' rights"

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TORONTO, Sept. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This Labour Day workers are coming together to protect the improvements that they won when Ontario updated its labour laws. In that update, workers won changes that improve working conditions across Ontario, including making it easier to join a union, providing two paid sick days, fairer scheduling laws, and a January 1, 2019 increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

However, workers stand to lose these improvements under the new government of Ontario, unless we fight for them.

As we celebrate the victories the labour movement and community have won together in Ontario, we are also sending a strong message to our province's new government: "hands off workers' rights."

The OFL encourages all Ontarians to go to myrights.ca and send an email to their MPP demanding that their representatives do whatever they can to defend workers' rights in this province.

"Doug Ford's government is no friend to workers in this province. Already cuts to programs and services are hurting people across Ontario. Now is the time for all Ontario workers to demand workers' rights be protected and enhanced, not cut," said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. "Doug Ford has said that he will cancel the minimum wage increase, and the Chamber of Commerce has shamefully called for the complete repeal of improvements to worker rights in this province. It is clear that these improvements are under threat. We are sending a strong message to Ford: hands off workers' rights."

The Ontario Federation of Labour will continue its work with community partners the Fight for $15 and Fairness to protect the rights of workers in Ontario whether they are in a union or not.

"The updates to employment and labour law provide for five days of job-protected paid leave for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as ten days personal emergency leave. These are just a few of the important protections that workers cannot do without," said Ontario Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. "No one in this province should have to choose between their safety and their job. That's why we march today – to protect our rights."

The majority of Ontarians – 66 per cent – support an increase in the minimum wage, as well as 42 per cent of PC supporters.

"Workers are the core of Ontario's economy, and should be treated fairly in the workplace. There is no question that a higher minimum wage benefits low-wage workers across Ontario, and the economy is not suffering as a result. In fact, 61,000 jobs have been created in July alone," said Ontario Federation of Labour Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. "Ontarians know that strong protections for workers' rights mean a better quality of life for everyone."

In solidarity with IATSE Local 58, this year's Labour Day Parade in Toronto will not end at the CNE, but instead end at Lamport Stadium.

"The workers in IATSE Local 58 are fighting to protect their jobs from outsourcing that will erode wages and benefits, and we stand in solidarity with them by not crossing the picket line," said Buckley.

The OFL encourages all Ontarians to go to myrights.ca and send an email to PC MPPs demanding that they do whatever they can to defend workers' rights in this province to say, "Hands off workers rights."

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information contact:

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

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