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.

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.

PRESS RELEASE: Workers Survey Shows BC Employers Failing to Meet Basic Regulations & Calls for Revisions to Employment Standards Act


Flickr Creative Commons: https://flic.kr/p/EstjwE

For a pdf version of this press release, please click here

Today, the BC Employment Standards Coalition released a summary of its forthcoming report, “Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse: Why BC Employment Standards Need to Change.” The report exposes employer violations of BC’s Employment Standards Act, and proposes revisions to the act that will protect unrepresented workers from abuse and exploitation. It also marks the first time in twenty-five years that British Columbia workers have been given a voice to publicly share their experiences with BC’s employment standards law and enforcement.

Over the past six months, the BC Employment Standards Coalition held of a series of workers’ story forums across Metro Vancouver and Victoria. During these forums, coalition members interviewed workers about their experiences with employment standards violations, issues with enforcement, and areas where the Employment Standards Act failed to protect them. After the forums, the coalition analyzed their findings, and began crafting a report that would give workers a voice, and propose changes to the legislation necessary to improve the minimum employment standards for all BC workers.

The report summary details violation issues that need to be addressed immediately. For example, an overwhelming majority of workers reported “wage theft,” lack of breaks, miss-classification of employees as self-employed, violation of employment contracts, improper termination, and excessive work hours. The report also raises serious concerns about employers charging fees for temporary foreign workers, failing to keep proper records, and denying their employees leave and sick days.

The “Workers’ Stories” report illustrates a failure of the BC Liberal government to proactively enforce the Employment Standards Act and encourage workers to submit complaints of violations. “Over the past fifteen years, workers have found themselves in increasingly precarious, low paid and exploitative jobs – a fact that has been widely recognized across Canada,” says David Fairey, co-chair of the coalition. “But in BC, the inadequacies of the Employment Standards Act and its enforcement has worsened the problem.”

The full “Workers’ Stories” report will be published in June.

About The BC Employment Standards Coalition

The BC Employment Standards Coalition campaigns for decent wages, working conditions, and respect and dignity in the workplace. The coalition is comprised of individual members, representatives from worker and community legal advocacy organizations, public policy researchers, labour lawyers and volunteer advocates.

For more information, please contact David Fairey, Co-Chair, BC Employment Standards Coalition 604-430-6036 + david@labourconsultingservices.com

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


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