It is unacceptable that a person working full time can’t make ends meet. Yet for more and more Canadian workers that is their reality. The rise of insecure work is a key part of Canada’s growing economic inequality. Canadians are worried and looking for action.
Jagmeet Singh has been a courageous ally of working people, trade unions, and grassroots movements such as $15 and Fairness that are fighting for the rights of workers across the country.
The Trudeau government is complacent, calling this situation the new normal and telling young workers to “get used to” the "job churn" as they "move from job to job to job." The Trudeau government had a golden opportunity to create good, stable jobs through public investment but instead, chose to line the pockets of wealthy investors through the infrastructure bank.
That is simply not good enough. We’re not going to “get used to it”. We do not accept that it has to be this way.
Building on his strong record of advocating for struggling workers, Jagmeet has a plan for bold federal action on inequality in the job market.
A Jagmeet Singh-led government will immediately implement a $15 per hour minimum wage for the tens of thousands of workers employed under federal jurisdiction, indexed to keep pace with inflation. Setting a living wage floor for federal workers not only ensures that they have fair work standards, it also sets a benchmark for wages across Canada.
Establish a national workplace law review to revise and update federal labour standards under the Canadian Labour Code. This review will specifically address the increase in contract and temp agency work, pay and benefit inequity, and barriers to forming a union.
Equal rights for temp agency workers
Recognizing that the rise of temporary work is undermining good jobs, ensure that all workers employed through a temporary job agency under federal jurisdiction receive the same wages, benefits, and working conditions as permanent full-time workers doing comparable work.
Further, end the practice of long-term temporary assignments and require that workers be made permanent employees after working a cumulative total of six months.
All work should be paid work
Immediately extend the proposed ban on unpaid internships to require that interns working for federally-regulated employers as part of an academic program be paid.
Economic inclusion, not private profit
Create a national framework for enshrining Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) in federally-funded infrastructure projects. While Trudeau’s infrastructure bank creates opportunities for rich investors, Jagmeet will ensure that every public dollar is put to its best possible use, creating local economic opportunities and building support from local communities.
Through partnerships between community, labour, governments, and employers, a CBA framework will provide communities accountability and enforceable targets and allow each one to define benefits as its sees fit –whether that be access to unionized construction jobs, new space for public use, or to achieve environmental goals or other priorities.
Leverage federal procurement for decent work
Reinstate the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act. This act ensured workers employed on federal construction contracts received fair wages and required employers to put in place non-discriminatory hiring practices. Jagmeet will extend the principles of this act to all federal government procurement, ensuring that the highest labour standards and non-discriminatory hiring and promotion practices are followed by all companies contracted by the federal government.