April 19, 2024

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Think Differently

Shielding momentary employment agency workers in Ontario

The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier, Province of Ontario

Premier Ford,

On behalf of Migrante Ontario, a provincial and national labour and migrant legal rights advocacy team, and in collaboration with Unifor and their extra than 160,000 union customers throughout Ontario, we are composing to elevate our deep problem surrounding the ongoing absence of protections for momentary company workers in the province and how this is negatively and disproportionately impacting migrant, racialized, and very low-cash flow personnel across Ontario.

As you are knowledgeable, 71 workers at the Del Monte plant in Oshawa represented by Unifor Local 222 were lately terminated even though on strike in their try to safe honest wages and enhanced performing situations. Reps from Migrante Ontario frequented workers on the picket line to offer you help, as quite a few had been from migrant and racialized communities. Even so, simply because the staff were being utilized by Leading, a 3rd-occasion temp staffing agency owned by SwipeJobs, there was minimal recourse for these personnel when Del Monte made the decision to abruptly cancel the contract with the company. Staff have been not provided see or offered any sort of termination or severance fork out from the employer. 

Unifor has been in discussion with Minister Piccini about the Del Monte condition and the problems it has exposed. Unifor appreciates the Minister’s quick reaction to our worries and we have an understanding of that your governing administration intends to consider even more action around the exploitation of staff utilized as a result of temp businesses.

We consider it is definitely unacceptable how some businesses and temporary help agencies continue to get away with this style of employee procedure and how workers’ suitable to strike and collective bargaining can be undermined. According to Ontario’s Work Standards Act (ESA), and current exemptions bordering termination and severance during strikes and lockouts, these steps are permitted – highlighting we consider a significant loophole in the law.   

The Del Monte case reveals how Ontario businesses carry on to address temporary agency employees as a disposable workforce, and highlights how these most impacted are typically migrants, girls and personnel of color, who generate very low wages and work in bad and perilous performing disorders. 

More, almost a third of the staff at the plant were being utilized for in excess of five several years, begging the dilemma of how a financially rewarding firm such as Del Monte can justify its ongoing use ‘temporary’ employees for so extensive. 

Laws is essential to make sure that providers employ staff directly following a selected time period of time, with just result in defense, so that they cannot simply just be replaced with new temp employees.

Your governing administration has a short while ago taken some actions in this area, these kinds of as utilizing a licensing routine for short term businesses to suppress incidents of employee abuse and exploitation, but gaps keep on being. We implore your federal government to just take the necessary following actions to eradicate these exemptions, close loopholes in the ESA and far better defend momentary agency employees in Ontario. We seem ahead to continuing to get the job done with Minister Piccini and your authorities on these challenges and we take pleasure in any and all chances to share ordeals and tips.

Sincerely,
Lana Payne, National President Unifor
Samia Hashi, Ontario Regional Director, Unifor
Bayani Edades, Worldwide Solidarity Officer, Migrante