OPSEU News Press Releases banner

Changing Workplaces Review final report a ‘disappointment’: Thomas

Queen's Park

Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) welcomes the long-awaited release of the Changing Workplaces Review final report, but is disappointed by its weak recommendations, according to OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

The report, which concludes a two-year review of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA), “neglected some of the most important recommendations made by OPSEU and a number of other unions and community organizations,” said Thomas.

“The advisors had the opportunity to bring democracy into workplaces by recommending a return to card-based certification, and to end vicious first contract strikes and lockouts by recommending first contract arbitration and laws against replacement workers.

“These laws would have protected my members at CarePartners who were stuck on the picket line for eight months while their employer just moved the work. These laws would mean the thousands of college support workers across this province would be unionized by now, and would have fairer working conditions. These laws would have meant that more than 4,000 of my members working at the LCBO wouldn’t have had to wait through years of litigation to finally achieve equal pay for equal work.

“This is a critical time in Ontario’s labour history,” said Thomas. “Too many people are trapped in precarious work and struggling to make ends meet. Too many people are being denied the right to union representation. There is too much power in the hands of employers who are only concerned with their bottom lines and will stop at nothing to make them grow.

“I will be looking to the government to introduce improvements to our labour laws that go much further than many of the recommendations in this report.”

Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn will announce his official response to the report within the next week.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931