Union members hold a demonstration on Dougall Ave to protest the Ontario government repealing a $15-per-hour minimum wage, November 2, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Windsor union members fight against minimum wage repeal

A group of union members from Windsor-Essex are putting the Ontario government on notice concerning a proposed rollback of the minimum wage.

The group, known as Fight For $15 and Fairness, held a demonstration on Dougall Avenue in Windsor on Friday afternoon, not far from the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce. The group is are hoping to call attention to the effort by Ontario’s PC-majority government to repeal the plan to raise the minimum wage in Ontario from $14 per hour to $15 on January 1.

The legislation, known as Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, would if passed roll back the planned minimum wage increase, keeping it at $14 per hour, and instead tie increases through 2020 with inflation. The minimum wage increase was part of Bill 148, which was passed by the previous Liberal-controlled legislature.

Mario Spagnuolo, who organized the demonstration, said that the proposed minimum wage rollback is not the only concern they have.

“One of the concerns is the cut to paid sick days that are available through the legislation, and also the requirement for employees to have to get a doctor’s note if they take one day off sick for cold or flu,” said Spagnuolo.

The law that is currently in place says employers cannot ask for a doctor’s note when they access their ten days of emergency leave currently under the law. Spagnuolo said it would be better if the Ford government left the legislation alone and allowed for more public consultation on it.

“We believe that we need more thorough discussion on this and we want the public to be aware that this is going to bring us back a few years,” said Spagnuolo.

The Ford government says Bill 47 will help make Ontario more friendly for job creation by cutting red tape, and replacing regulations that they consider outdated and burdensome.

For complete information on Fight For $15 and Fairness, visit their official website.