“Pilot project aims to protect vulnerable restaurant workers” / Sara Mojtehedzadeh (Toronto Star, Aug. 30, 2016)
Following last month’s release of the Changing Workplaces Review Interim Report on issues facing workers in precarious jobs, the Ministry of Labour is launching a new initiative to address workplace abuses and employment standards violations in the restaurant sector. The project, led by Sujoy Dey, will consult with employer and labour groups to identify major risks to workers’ rights. The industry and inadequate enforcement of labour laws have been the focus of widespread criticism, with recent Toronto Star investigations highlighting the scale of wage theft and Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic’s report “Sweet & Sour: The Struggle of Chinese Restaurant-workers” detailing persistent disregard of workers’ rights and health & safety protections.
This raises the question …
This new Ministry of Labour initiative should make the Province re-think its support for WSIB experience rating, the system that sets employer premiums on the cost of compensation paid to injured workers. If the Province finds many workers in precarious non-union work cheated out of employment rights, why would it trust employers to not cheat injured workers by hiding claims? If most the enforcement of the law did not work in employment rights, why would it work in WSIB law? It’s incumbent on the Province and the WSIB to connect the dots and eliminate financial incentives to hide or suppress the rights of injured workers.