The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has launched a new web site at www.parttimeaction.ca that aims to provoke an Ontario-wide debate on part-time, temporary, and “precarious” forms of work.
“The demolition by employers of the standard full-time permanent job is the biggest labour market story of the last generation, yet it has largely been ignored by legislators,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “This web site will be a rallying point for people who are concerned about part-time, temporary, unstable work and want to do something about it.”
The new web site features a music video, “The Part-Time Blues,” performed by R&B artist Stacie Tabb, as well as interactive poll questions and an easy way for visitors to e-mail their MPPs about the crumbling of the job market.
“Good jobs don’t just happen,” said Thomas. “We’re calling on all the political parties in Ontario to state clearly what their plan is to improve jobs for part-time, temporary, temp agency, and self-employed workers so they can live decently, bring their children up the way they want to, and maybe – just maybe – retire with dignity.”
The launch of the web site comes as the clock ticks down towards a strike deadline for 7,000 OPSEU members at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. A central issue in the talks is the fate of the 60 per cent of employees who are designated as “casual” even though many have worked at the LCBO for a decade or more.
“The casuals at the LCBO are not true casuals,” said Thomas. “The fact is, they are permanent part-time and full-time staff, and they should be treated as such.”