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

Tell us about your bad job: February Workers’ Story Forums

January 11th Bad Job Story

If you missed our workers’ story forums in October, four more are coming up in February throughout Metro Vancouver. Please click here for our event poster and share it widely.

Unpaid wages? Unpaid overtime? Employer taking your tips? Unfair firings?

Tell us about your bad job.

Unfair treatment of workers is all too common in British Columbia. Few people know their rights, and getting justice from a bad boss can be nearly impossible. The BC Employment Standards Coalition is campaigning for better employment laws and stronger enforcement for all workers.

Join us to share your story. You can tell us about a current problem or even something that
happened within the past 10 years. You can also learn about your workplace rights under the Employment Standards Act and other BC laws. If your case involves a legal violation, we will offer advice and can help you to start a complaint. Interviews will be done by experienced advocates. You can choose to tell us your name and the name of the employer, or choose to be anonymous.

****Please note an update to the room at Vancouver Community College on 23 Feb (the poster and graphic below are incorrect): the new room is 300A.

february-2017-workers-story-forums

Tell us about your bad job: Metro Van Workers Forums in October

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAD JOB

Photo of a man cleaning a window

Unpaid wages and overtime, impossible schedules, unfair firings and other unfair treatment of workers are all common in British Columbia. BC has employment laws, but few workers know their rights, and getting justice from a bad boss can be very difficult.

The BC Employment Standards Coalition is working for better laws and stronger enforcement for non-union workers. We need your stories to illustrate these problems – to make the issues about real people – and to help us make the case for improvements.

We invite you to one of our public forums to share your story.  You can tell us about a current problem, or something within the past 10 years. Interviews will be done by experienced advocates. You can tell us your name and employer, or choose to be anonymous.

You can also learn about your workplace rights under the Employment Standards Act and other BC laws. If your case involves a legal violation, we will offer advice and help you to start a complaint if you want.

So please drop in to any one of the following locations. No appointment is necessary.  Plan to stay about an hour. Please share this information with co-workers, friends, family and organizations. Click here for a draft leaflet.

  • Cloverdale
    • Tuesday, October 11th, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
    • 5783 – 176A Street (Unifor Local 780G Hall)
  • Central Burnaby
    • Wednesday, October 12th, from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm
    • Bonsor Recreation Complex
    • South Burnaby Metro Club room
    • 6550 Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby
  • East Vancouver
    • Thursday, October 13th, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
    • 130 – 2920 Virtual Way (near RenfrewSkytrain Station)
    • BC Government Employees Union office, Tsawwassen Room
  • Northeast Burnaby & Coquitlam 
    • Monday, October 17th, from 3:30 pm to  9:00 pm
    • Cameron Community Centre, Cedar Room
    • 9523 Cameron Street, Burnaby (near Lougheed Mall & Skytrain)
  • Central Vancouver
    • Wednesday, October 19th, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
    • Vancouver Public Library, Alma VanDusen Room
    • 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver (Library Square)
  • New Westminster
    • Thursday, October 20th, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
    • 326 – 12th Street (Unifor Hall)

Contacts for further information:

  • Murray Gore 604-671-9141
  • David Fairey 604-430-6036
  • Joey Hartman 604-254-0703