The Labour Day Parade in Windsor, September 5, 2016. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)

Labour Leaders Target Precarious Work At Rally

As thousands of unionized workers and their families marched along Walker Rd. this Labour Day, Windsor District Labour Council President Brian Hogan is thinking about the impact of precarious work.

“Precarious work has to end,” he says.

He says it’s hard enough when workers can’t rely on stable hours and pay to support their families, but the lack of income can hobble a community’s economy.

“That’s not a way to build an economy. That’s not a way to raise a family,” he says.

Hogan admits he’s heartened by efforts to boost the minimum wage in Ontario, and news that Windsor-Essex is tied with Hamilton for the number of companies that have pledged to pay a living wage, but says there’s more to do.

“I do know in Ontario; the stats say, low-wage workers, [those earning] minimum wage or less is 27% in this province. A third of women are in low-wage jobs.”

“We need all three levels of government to buy into it, not just some companies in Windsor-Essex, and we’re concerned about city council,” says Hogan citing attempts to privatize custodial work at municipal facilities.

He’s also disappointed county municipal leaders have not pushed harder to end the strike by Essex County library workers.

“There’s no reason for them to still be on the streets. That one item [sick time], take it off the table. The arbitrator already took it off the table with their other bargaining unit with CUPE,” he says pointing to a ruling involving county EMS workers.

County library workers led this year’s parade. Tuesday marks their 74th day on the picket line.