Metro News coverage of Workers’ Stories summary report

Metro News:

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.

Workers’ Forums to Continue


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 working for better employment laws and stronger enforcement for all workers. We want to make the issues about real people – and make the case for improvements. Read more and listen here to BC Employment Standards Coalition Co-Chair David Fairey on CBC Radio’s Early Edition speaking about the recent Workers’ Forums, and also on CBC’s Almanac (Oct 18). Fairey and researcher Kaitlyn Matulewicz also published this new op-ed in the Kelowna Capital News on the sexism and unfairness of BC’s liquor server minimum wage.

The BC Employment Standards Coalition held 6 workers’ forums in October 2016 to give workers an opportunity to share their stories of unfair treatment by employers and the difficulty of getting workplace justice. Many workers responded to the invitation to participate in these forums and give personal interviews. The Coalition will therefore continue to hold these forums to gather more stories in early 2017 in and around Metro Vancouver and Victoria. So stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, if you have a story, enquiry or complaint that you would like to speak with us about you are welcome to contact any one of the following Coalition volunteers:

Murray Gore 604-671-9141 * David Fairey 604-430-636 * Joey Hartman 604-254-0703

Liquor server minimum wage reinforces sexism

BC Employment Standards Coalition members Kaitlyn Matulewicz and co-chair David Fairey published an important new op-ed in this week’s Vancouver Sun about the often-ignored linkage between provincial tipping regulations and sexual harassment:

the dependence workers have on customers for tips leaves workers vulnerable to enduring sexual harassment and sexualized behaviour from customers as a “price” to be paid for a tip — a form of institutionalized quid pro quo. If workers do resist by, for example, speaking up against customers who are harassing them, they risk losing a tip.

You can read the article in full at this link.

No April Fool’s Joke – Lowest Minimum Wage in Canada


As of today, BC’s minimum wage is the lowest in Canada. Communities are rallying to send Fight for $15 National Day of Action Poster - Vancouvera strong message to Premier Clark: we need a $15/hour minimum wage.

Friday, April 15th is a huge day for the Fight for $15 campaign. It is Canada’s first official Fight for $15 National Day of Action. The BC Employment Standards Coalition supports this campaign, led by the BC Federation of Labour, and those who are joining with allied campaigns right across Canada and the United States in the fight for fair wages.

The rally will take place at Canada Place in Vancouver on Friday, April 15th at 5:00 pm. There will be music, performers, and speeches to help send a message to Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Government that low pay is not okay! Join in for an after party at the Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St, starting at 6:30 pm.

Please bring your colleagues, friends, and family to this critical rally. Let’s ensure our voices are heard.

RSVP here or on Facebook.

If you are not in the Lower Mainland, you can support the day of action on Twitter #fightfor15bc and on Facebook by sharing posts and photos. If you’d like to organize an event in your community, contact the BC Federation of Labour office at 604-430-1421.

Together, we can build an economy that works for everyone.

Critics argue BC’s minimum wage increase is too low

David Fairey, Co-Chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition, was quoted in an article in the Georgia Straight on BC’s proposed minimum wage increase. Jobs Minister Shirley Bond is expected to announce this month that in September, the province will raise the minimum wage to $10.65/hour. Fairey has argued that the increase is inadequate, and would still leave the baseline for future Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments too low.

The province’s imminent minimum wage announcement comes on the heels of a Freedom of Information Request by the Georgia Straight revealing that the BC government had been aware of faulty information guiding its increase in minimum wage in September, 2015. The province had initially intended to move BC to the middle of minimum wages relative to other provinces last year, but ended up leaving it close to the bottom of the barrel. However, once the government became aware of its error, documents show that it failed to correct or reveal this mistake to the public.