FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2011
New Employment Standards Coalition Meets With Ministry of Labour to Advocate for Fundamental Change in Worker Protections
Today members of the Employment Standards Advocates Coalition are meeting with a group of senior Ministry of Labour staff who have been directed by the government to gather the views of employment standards stakeholders on changes to the system.
The Coalition will be expressing the view that the government’s employment standards review process is inadequate to consider and address the broad range of deficiencies workers and their advocates have experienced in the legislation, and the system of minimum standards enforcement, and that there should be a comprehensive public review process instead.
The Coalition is hopeful that their recommendation for a substantial increase in the general minimum wage, which has been frozen for ten years and is now the lowest in the country, will be acted upon.
Numerous other examples of how BC’s current labour policies and practices fail to respect workers’ rights and safety, fail to enforce even minimum standards especially for the most vulnerable workers, and create a culture of impunity among too many employers, will be brought to the attention of the Ministry.
This Coalition was formed to launch a public campaign for fundamental changes to modernize the BC Employment Standards Act in the interests of workers, and to give voice to the thousands of workers in the province who are being abused and exploited under the current flawed system.
The Coalition is composed of individuals and organizations including many who provide assistance to, and advocacy for, workers who are often unaware of their rights or unable to assert them. Included in this group are migrant worker assistance organizations, immigrant services, farm workers, and domestic workers organizations, labour and human rights lawyers, unions, labour and social policy researchers, university professors, employment and labour relations specialists, child and youth welfare advocates, and legal aid societies.
The Coalition will meet again with the senior Ministry of Labour staff on February 2, 2011.
For further information contact David Fairey: 604-255-7346/604-430-6036; david[at]tradeunionresearch.com