TORONTO, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Many of the regulatory changes proposed today in Bill 66 compromise the health and safety of Ontarians, says the Ontario Federation of Labour.
“From reclassifying employers so they can avoid hiring well-trained unionized workers for public infrastructure projects to increasing the number of children allowed in home-based daycare facilities Doug Ford is putting Ontarians at risk and workers in greater danger by removing and amending important regulatory requirements. This Bill is going to do nothing but replace red tape with yellow caution tape,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley.
“The OFL is not opposed to reducing administrative regulations. But many of the regulations currently on the books are there to serve a useful purpose, from ensuring workers know their rights to safeguarding their health at work,” said Buckley.
The Bill deems public entities, like municipalities, hospitals, universities and schools as ‘non-construction employers’, opening the door for non-union shops in the construction trades to bid on and build public infrastructure projects.
“Unionized construction trades are leaders in health and safety. By opening public construction projects to non-union shops, Ford is putting worker safety at greater risk and trampling collective bargaining agreements,” said Buckley. “By reducing safety standards to satisfy big business, the government is playing with the lives of Ontarians. When there are too many children at a private daycare, children are unnecessarily put in harm’s way. When guardrails are not required, workplace accidents kill workers. With this Bill the government that claims to be ‘for the people’ is once again putting the almighty dollar ahead of the lives of Ontarians.”
Changes under the Bill include ending the requirement for employers to seek approval from the Ministry of Labour for excess hours of work and overtime averaging, weakening the requirements for employers to post employment standards information in their workplaces, and introducing changes to how hazardous materials are labeled.
“Removing regulations does nothing to create good jobs,” said Buckley. “There are 1.7 million low-wage workers in this province who have had decent work laws torn from their hands by this government. Now that same government is telling employers they don’t even need to post the Employment Standards Act in their workplace, this is wrong on so many levels.”
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