Bruce-Grey Owen Sound Federal NDP candidate David McLaren (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Bruce Grey NDP Claims Over Half Of Workers Precariously Employed

The Bruce Grey Owen Sound NDP has reviewed an Ontario Chamber of Commerce letter to the premier about anticipated recommendations of the Workplace Review.

Bruce Grey Owen Sound Labour Spokesman David McLaren says the chamber opposed the review before the recommendations were even released.

The NDP hopes the review will suggest more protection for precarious workers, make it easier for workers to organize, and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

McLaren suggests the Ontario Chamber is using alternative facts to create an alternative reality, by saying the reforms would discourage investment and eliminate jobs.

McLaren says there is no evidence of that in Alberta, where a $15 an hour minimum wage is being phased in, or from seven decades of research in the US.

The NDP prefers a living wage, since even $15 an hour would not bring workers out of poverty. McLaren says a living wage in 2015 would have injected an extra $40-million into the Bruce Grey Owen Sound Economy.

McLaren adds that the chamber’s letter suggests 98% of jobs created since the recession have been full time.

He says data from Stats Can, including the jobs report for April 2017, shows part time jobs are replacing full time jobs. And that low wage work has increased a whopping 94% in two decades. Over half of workers are precariously employed.

McLaren says decades of research into the impact of poverty level wages clearly shows that people should be paid enough to live on, and workers should be able to organize to protect themselves.

The Chamber’s letter even uses out of date government data (from 2010, when the dollar was inflated by the oil boom) to claim labour costs are too high. The Chamber’s benchmark is the US, a country with no government-sponsored health care and a high level of income inequality.