Our submission to the Fair Wages Commission

On November 23, BC Employment Standards Coalition Co-Chair David Fairey made a submission in Vancouver to the Fair Wages Commission as part of its consultation. The submission contains detailed responses to questions from the Commission including, “What is a reasonable timeframe or schedule of increases in the minimum wage to reach $15-an-hour?” and “What are your experiences or thoughts about the farm workers piece rates in B.C.?”

Please click here to read our full submission.

Tell the BC gov’t that minimum wage for all workers should be $15 per hour

Photo of woman holding Fight for 15 sign outside of Walmart Supercentre

Photo: Global Research

 Now is your chance to tell the provincial government that the minimum wage for all workers should be $15 per hour – NOW. Please spread the word by sharing this poster!

The NDP provincial government has appointed an independent Fair Wages Commission to advise the government on when and how the general minimum wage should be increased to $15 per hour.

Currently, the legislated general minimum wage is $11.35 per hour, but a number of occupations are excluded from the general minimum wage. This includes liquor servers for whom the minimum wage is $1.25 less at $10.10 per hour, and farm workers who hand harvest fruits, berries and vegetables for whom there is no hourly minimum wage, only minimum piece rates.

The Fair Wages Commission is inviting anyone interested in the minimum wage issue to share their views on the issue, either through a written submission by e-mail or in person at one of eight consultation meetings of the Commission to be held around BC from November 16th to December 7th.

Visit The Fair Wages Commission for details and directions.

You can request to make a submission at any one of the eight consultation meeting locations by e-mailing FWC@gov.bc.ca

The deadline for making written submissions by e-mail is December 7, 2017. Instructions for written submissions are here. Written submissions can be emailed to: FWC@gov.bc.c

Tell the Fair Wages Commission that all workers without exclusion should receive a $15 hourly minimum wage – NOW!

Report exposes violations of basic workplace rights and calls new government to immediate action

Image of cover of new report by BC ESC, Workers' stories of exploitation and abuse.To mark Labour Day, we are releasing a new report: Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse: Why BC Employment Standards Need to Change. For the full press release, please click here.

This report documents widespread employer violations of BC’s Employment Standards Act and exposes the failure of the provincial government to enforce basic workplace rights. The Coalition calls on the new provincial government to act swiftly on the report’s recommendations.

 

In 2016 and 2017, the BC Employment Standards Coalition held a series of workers’ forums across Metro Vancouver and Victoria where workers described their experiences with employment standards violations, issues with enforcement, and areas where the Employment Standards Act failed to protect them.

The Coalition heard from 145 workers about wage theft, lack of breaks, employment contract violations, improper termination, excessive work hours, and unequal treatment as temporary workers. The coalition’s report gives a voice to workers’ concerns and proposes legislative reforms intended to improve the economic security of all working people.

“The ‘Workers’ Stories Report’ is an indictment of the previous government’s callous reduction of rights and protections for workers in the province – especially the most vulnerable,” says David Fairey, co-chair of the coalition. “The findings expose the government’s failure to enforce the Employment Standards Act, and the urgent need to address gaps in existing legislation.”

The report also raises serious concerns about employers charging fees to temporary foreign workers, denying sick days, bullying workers and the lack of basic rights for farm workers. Additionally, it proposes new rights and protections for the large and growing numbers of precarious workers in the service economy.

“The stories we collected illustrate the need for the new government to act quickly to modernize basic workplace rights, institute proactive enforcement, and provide the Employment Standards Branch with the resources needed to carry out its mandate effectively.” says Fairey.

For interviews, please contact:

David Fairey, Co-Chair, BC Employment Standards Coalition

604-430-6036

david@labourconsultingservices.com

Article in The Tyee on new BC Employment Standards Coalition Summary Report

“B.C. workers aren’t protected from abuse and harassment under the Employment Standards Act. WorkSafeBC has guidelines on workplace bullying, but Fairey says they have no teeth.

It’s a refrain that’s repeated throughout the report: lack of protection for workers and lack of enforcement of the rules that do exist.”

The Tyee has published an article on the BC Employment Standards Coalition’s new Summary Report, Worker Workers’ Stories of Harassment and Abuse: Why B.C. Employment Standards Need to Change. Read The Tyee article here, and see our press release here.

Metro News coverage of Workers’ Stories summary report

Metro News: http://bit.ly/2qOMdiz

Metro News published a story this week on the release of our new Summary Report, “Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse: Why BC Employment Standards Need to Change.”

For our press release, please click here.