Posts Tagged ‘ minimum wage ontario ’

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.


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. 

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

In Waterloo Region, join Poverty Makes Us Sick and allies to demand an end to poverty wages!
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:
Source: Statistics Canada, (2005) Study: Earnings of temporary versus permanent employees, The Daily, Wednesday January 26, 2005. online:



Premiere Wynne: Dont Legislate a Poverty Wage!

Premiere Wynne:  Dont Legislate a Poverty Wage!

Take action today! Tell the Ontario Liberals that their offer of crumbs is not enough.
We demand a wage that brings workers out of poverty. Fair Wages Now!

See previous posts on this blog for more details and visit

Raise the Minimum Wage – December 14th report back, KW

December 14th, 2013: The fifth consecutive monthly province-wide day of action action (held on the 14th of every month to win fair wages) saw another successful mobilization in Waterloo Region.  The local efforts have received overwhelmingly positive support from the community and this event was no different.

In an event organized by Poverty Makes Us Sick and Waterloo Labour Council, with the strong support of Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance, activists dressed as elves and distributed campaign fliers attached to candy-canes to happy holiday consumers at Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener.  Some shoppers also took time to write holiday cards to Premier Kathleen Wynne asking for economic justice in the new year.  Again this month, we were greeted warmly by an informed public. Waterloo Region is making itself clear and calling for Fair Wages Now!

KW 03KW 02

Worker-Elves withstood the cold and snow to greet the people and promote Fair Wages. Hundreds of candy-canes, fliers and postcards were distributed to receptive and supportive shoppers at Kitchener’s busy Fairview Mall.  With the Harper Regime claiming the North Pole as its territory, its more important than ever that workers in Ontario stand in solidarity with Santa’s workshop employees.

KW 01

See a round-up of the 18+ events held across Ontario on December 14th, here.

Kitchener-Waterloo has been active in the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage since its public launch on March 21 and has held monthly actions on the 14th of every month, as part of province-wide days of action beginning in August.  On September 24th Poverty Makes Us Sick hosted a presentation by Toronto’s Workers Action Centre on the campaign which brought together community members, grassroots, labour and social organizations to build a sustainable local mobilization to win fair wages.  Waterloo Region continues to grow a strong network.  We are part of a vibrant province wide campaign that is poised to win Fair Wages Now!  We encourage everyone to join in!

To get involved with this vital campaign in KW, contact Poverty Makes Us Sick:

Learn about the Province-wide campaign, here.

Send a Tweet, email or Facebook message to Premier Wynne right now!

Raise the Minimum Wage – Monthly Event, December 14th

Saturday December 14th, 2-4pm
Fairview Mall, Bay entrance (near bus depot)

Distribute candy canes, have $14 Now holiday cards filled in to send to Premier Wynne

Dress up as an Elf, Mrs Claus, Santa or a Reindeer
Community Positive, Kid Friendly

Last month the growing province wide campaign visited 60 MPP’s!
PMUS and allies were able to secure the full endorsement of Kitchener-Waterloo NDP MPP Catherine Fife.  MPP Fife is the Labour and Economic Development Critic and has demonstrated her commitment to winning Fair Wages.  Our strong local efforts are seeing great successes.  Labour activists lead a delegation to Liberal MPP John Milloy’s office. MPP Milloy has yet to endorse the campaign.   We applaud MPP Fife for her integrity and for her commitment to serving the community in tangible ways. 

This month lets flood Premier Wynne with greeting cards demanding an immediate increase in minimum wage.
$14 Now!  Fair Wages Now!

See roundup of last months actions, here.

To get involved in Waterloo Region contact:
Facebook: Poverty Makes Us Sick!
@kwpmus, #fairwagesnow

Learn about the Province wide campaign:

The Waterloo Region mobilization of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is co-facilitated by Poverty Makes Us Sick with the endorsement and support of the Waterloo Region Labour Council and Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance in coordination with Workers Action Centre.


Raise the Minimum Wage: a look at where our food comes from – October 14


Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage event Launches Raise the Rates Week Of Action in Kitchener!

Hundreds attended a community meal infront of Kitchener City Hall as part of the monthly Province-wide day of action demanding an immediate increase in minimum wage, from $10.25 to $14/hr.

PMUS partnered with Waterloo Region Labour Council (WRLC) and Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance (KOALA) to offer an opportunity to break bread together and reflect on this months theme: A look at who’s putting food on our tables.  Speeches highlighted that the folks bringing us our food are receiving poverty wages.  From Migrant Workers in the agriculture sector through wait staff at restaurants, many are infact earning below minimum wage and are denied pay for over time hours. This injustice was spoken to passionately by Dianne Hartman of KOALA, who’s intersectional analysis calls for total liberation and justice.  Marc Xuereb, President of WRLC brought greetings and the SPOT collective took on a range of tasks to make this event awesome!


Dianne Hartman speaks on behalf of KOALA

Tempeh and hotdogs were enjoyed while children played with $14 Now balloons.  It was a wonderfully uplifitng event with an amazing community response.  100’s of postcards, addressed to Premier Wynne, were signed and media came calling from Stratford and Kitchener. Our message was heard loud and clear:  Fair Wages Now!


Together we can win a victory of an immediate increase in Minimum Wage to $14/hr.  We must continue to fight daily for Migrant Workers and others being exploited by this unjust system.  Who’s putting food on your table?  They deserve a raise!

For more info, to sign a petition and to use social media to win an increase, see:

Check back for more pictures from this and other events from this week of action!

Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, Province-wide Day of Action!

Fair Wages Now!

Saturday, September 14th, 5-6pm
On Sidewalk In front of McDonald’s
600 King St W, at corner of Breithaupt Ave

Rally and Community Outreach

Kid-Friendly, Non-Intrusive, Community-Positive

We will display placards and creative props while
distributing leaflets about the Campaign to Raise the
Minimum Wage.  We have postcards addressed to Ontario
Premiere Kathleen Wynne that we will have supporters sign.
There will be province-wide actions on the 14th of every month
until we win our demand of an increase to $14/hr.
Together we can win an increase in the minimum wage to get
workers out of poverty!
See the round-up of August 14th actions here

Prices are going up, but wages are not.
The minimum wage has been frozen for 3 years at $10.25.
It is time for an increase.
The current minimum wage drives workers 19% below the poverty line.
We need fair wages, not poverty wages.  Increasing the minimum wage
to $14 will bring workers 10% above the poverty line in Ontario.
A raise in the minimum wage makes economic sense.  Research shows
minimum wage increases get invested back into communities and do not
cause job loss.
The Ontario Government has said it will have a panel study minimum wage.
The Ontario Liberals have shown a strong pattern of stalling through the
commissioning of panels. People in Ontario can’t wait, we need an
increase now!

Why McDonald’s?
McDonalds is a member of a lobby group that opposes an increase in minimum
wage.  McDonald’s USA has even gone so far as to create a budget for their
minimum wage employees – it supposes that they have at least two jobs!
On September 14th, communities across the province will hold rallies that highlight
the membership of McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Loblaws Family of Companies and Toy’s R Us in this lobby group.

Upcoming Locally:

Tuesday September 24th, Poverty Makes Us Sick is pleased to be hosting
Toronto’s Workers Action Centre for an evening of education and mobilization
around the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage.  This is an important event!
Hope to see you there!  Find out more here.

For more information and to sign up for email alerts about the local campaign,
contact Poverty Makes Us Sick at

Check out the province-wide campaign, and find out how to use social media in this
struggle at:
#fairwagesnow, #14now

Minimum Wage Info Night with the Workers Action Centre

Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage:
An Evening of Education and Mobilization
Presented by Workers Action Centre and Poverty Makes Us Sick

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Queen Street Commons, 43 Queen South, Kitchener
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Building a strong $14 Minimum Wage Campaign
Come and Join Us!  Fair Wages Now!

We are inviting all interested community members to join us for an information and mobilization workshop to learn about the need for a livable $14 minimum wage, to dispel myths, and to build support for local contributions to the provincial fight.


The provincial government recently announced the creation of a panel to look at future minimum wage increases and report back within 6 months.  Our communities need an immediate increase. This is a critical moment to ramp up our organizing through creative actions, and make our voices heard!

Join us on Tuesday, September 24th at 7pm for an evening of knowledge-sharing from the Workers Action Centre and strategizing on how to contribute locally to the provincial campaign.

The Campaign celebrated its public launch on March 21st, 2013, with a series of successful Melt the Freeze actions on March 21st and 22nd.  Beginning in August, monthly actions across the province have been launched on the 14th of each month. For a provincial round-up of actions to date, go to:

Learn about local actions here: August 14th and March 22nd


The evening will include light refreshments, and speakers from the Workers Action Centre and Poverty Makes Us Sick.  Come be a part of this important and growing campaign!

Childcare available.  Please let us know ahead of time if you’d like childcare.

The Queen Street Commons is located near the main bus terminal.  It is baby and kid friendly, wheelchair accessible and alcohol-free.  Vegan and gluten-free options are available. There is one, single-occupancy washroom that is wheelchair accessible.

For more information, contact Poverty Makes Us Sick at

The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and Workers’ Action Centre.

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