Posts Tagged ‘ activism in Kitchener ’

Fair Wages Now Takes On Temp Agencies!

Monday April 14, 2014, 11am: As part of the monthly Fair Wages Now province-wide day of action, PMUS and allies toured downtown Kitchener, distributing literature on the streets and making stops at a few of the temp agencies.  

The temp agency industry made $11.5 billion in revenues across Canada in 2012.  The majority of those revenues were made in Ontario (50% of the industry).  Ontario’s temp agency industry had revenues of $5.7 billion in 2012. The Canadian temp industry made just under $1 billion in profits in 2012 by exploiting the precarious income security of workers. 

Temp workers get paid 40% lower than permanent workers doing the same job, often at minimum wage jobs. A recent Labour Ministry labour enforcement blitz showed that 3 out of 4 temp agencies were violating basic employment standards. Ontario workers need decent wages, working conditions and a decent minimum wage!  With this is in mind, we took our demands directly to the offices.

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Stops included Express Employment Professionals, Pivotal Action Fare, Adecco and Liberty Staffing. Participants sought to speak with management but were not given that courtesy and instead read a statement denouncing the exploitation of temp workers. Responses varied at the temp agencies from hostility and dismissal through to the disclosure that one employee was involved in campaigning for an increase in the minimum wage. 

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Community response, both in the waiting rooms and on the streets, was very positive.

 

See a full province-wide round-up of events and learn more about the campaign at www.raisetheminimumwage.ca

 
 
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In Waterloo Region, join Poverty Makes Us Sick and allies to demand an end to poverty wages!
 
@kwpmus
 
The KW mobilization of the Fair Wages Now campaign is facilitated by Poverty Makes Us Sick with the support and endorsement of Waterloo Region Labour Council and KOALA, and the coordination of Workers Action Centre (Toronto)
 
Source: Statistics Canada (2012) Employment Services Service bulletin Catalogue no. 63-252-X online:http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/63-252-x/63-252-x2014001-eng.pdf
 
Source: Statistics Canada, (2005) Study: Earnings of temporary versus permanent employees, The Daily, Wednesday January 26, 2005. online: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/050126/dq050126b-eng.htm
 
 

 

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Kitchener Raise the Rates, October 15 – report back

Kitchener’s main event in the Raise the Rates Province-Wide Week of Action followed on the heels of a confrontation with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and a very successful Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage event.  Our demands were taken to the heart of commerce, consumerism and social cleansing in the Region – Uptown Waterloo.  Beginning at the Regional Health and Social Services Building with a community-positive event, hundreds of leaflets exposing the threatened OW/ODSP merger were distributed while a meal was shared.  PMUS met with OW Case Workers at the staff exit as they left for the day.  The fact that the Union representing ODSP workers, OPSEU, just signed on to the Raise the Rates Campaign served to increase the interest of the CUPE local OW workers.

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A march at rush hour ensured that the elite patrons of Uptown Waterloo would hear the voices of the poor.A militant, in cases masked, faction took a major intersection at 5:10.  Banners, speeches and rap verses announced a new level of struggle opposing a OW/ODSP merger, standing in support of social assistance autonomy for First Nations, demanding the full restoration of CSUMB and Special Diet Allowance, a raise in minimum wage and a 55% increase in Social Assistance rates.  Angry Uptown consumers in vehicles expressed rage, but it could not match the rage of the poor.  Bystanders had a decidedly open minded approach and took flyers and listened to speeches.  One car drove at speed into the crowd but was stopped by a variety of well applied tactics.  The local paper captured a photo of the driver slowly driving into one protester, about to drive over another.

In this day of action we reached out to OW workers –  a natural ally in our struggle.  We have been oppressed by these very people. We are honest in our willingness to partner in the struggle against an OW/ODSP merger.  All of the conflicting feelings we were experiencing were released in a healthy setting later in our event.  If any of the disconnected elite of Waterloo Region hadnt previously known, they know it now: the poor are on the attack.

Raise the Minimum Wage Education and Mobilization Event – Report Back

On Tuesday September 24th Sonia Singh of Toronto’s Workers Action Centre facilitated an engaging skill building workshop on the Province-wide Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage.  Sonia is a dynamic presenter and equipped participants with a range of methods and facts to demonstrate the vital need for an increase, as well as the economic sense of an increase.

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Held at the Commons Cafe in Kitchener the event was also an opportunity to further solidify relationships and roles within the rapidly growing local coalition of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage.  The well attended event was a huge boost of energy for all involved.  Thank you to all who attended as individuals, organizational reps, labour reps and political office reps!

Events are held across the Province on the 14th of each month.  We in the Tri-Cities are now more prepared and determined than ever to achieve the objectives of this campaign.  We are so pleased to be part of such an inspiring campaign and always look forward to hearing about the creative and successful actions taken by communities across the Province on the 14th of each month!

Together we can win an increase in the minimum wage in Ontario.

For more information visit:  raisetheminimumwage.ca

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