Letter from OFL Officers to the Changing Workplaces Review:
Dear C. Michael Mitchell and the Honourable John C. Murray,
On behalf of our 54 affiliates, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) commends both of you for the 2016 Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Interim Report.
The thoughtful analysis in this report provides insight into the evolving landscape of employment and labour law in Ontario and its impact on workers — particularly women, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and youth. Most importantly, it offers potential pathways to make meaningful and enduring changes to employment conditions across this province. Indeed, the length and the breadth of the Interim Report not only reflect the immense challenge ahead of Ontario in reforming its outdated employment laws but also the need for immediate action.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring in sweeping changes and create a governing framework and standard for employment that addresses the changing nature of work. The OFL’s submission puts forth recommendations to both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act that will raise the minimum standards for all Ontario workers, expand access to our fundamental freedom to associate for the meaningful pursuit of collective workplace goals, correct the inherent power imbalance in the employment relationship, and protect vulnerable workers. For millions of Ontario workers, who find themselves in a constant state of uncertainty with limited income, social benefits, and statutory entitlements, maintaining the status quo is no longer the answer. Similar to the mandate of the Review, we view our recommendations as a cohesive and comprehensive package to affecting positive change in Ontario.
In constructing our response to the Interim Report, the OFL worked closely with our partners in labour, the community, and academia to present recommendations that will foster decent work across the province. In fact, we support and endorse the Workers’ Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services Building Decent Jobs from the Ground Up submission. The OFL will continue to be fully engaged in the Changing Workplaces Review process, working alongside our partners towards changes that will benefit all Ontario families and workers.