Injured Workers Consultants (IWC) was happy to make a submission on the Interim Report on the Changing Workplaces Review, in support of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) and the Workers’ Action Centre (WAC). The Changing Workplaces Review presents an important opportunity for labour and community groups to advocate for progressive change to Ontario’s employment laws, and to win greater support and protection for all workers across the province. The Interim Report released by the government’s special advisors on the review proposed some options for changes to the laws, some of which could benefit workers, and some of which could hurt them.
Both MWAC (“Ensuring Migrant Worker Fairness”) and WAC (“Building Decent Jobs From the Ground Up”) made excellent submissions, which highlighted how precarious work is on the rise, and all too often it is the most vulnerable workers who receive the least protection under the current legislation. They both provided concrete recommendations about how to strengthen protections. MWAC, for its part, raises the essential issue that migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, and require specific support.
Many of the concerns raised through the Changing Workplaces Review are directly connected to injured worker issues; precarious jobs are often dangerous jobs, and workers who are vulnerable to exploitation and unsafe working conditions are at a higher risk of workplace injury. WAC and MWAC have made essential contributions to this process, and we urge the government to heed their recommendations on how to protect and enhance workers’ rights across the province.
Note: IWC also made a September 2015 submission to the initial round of consultations on the Changing Workplaces Review.