Good Jobs Campaign

Learn more about campaigns and projects aimed at promoting good jobs, fair wages and higher minimum wages across Canada.

Toronto stands up for public services

RallyNearly 100 Toronto ACORN members joined with community and labour groups in an impressive rally of over 10,000 Torontonians who marched from Yonge and Dundas Square to City Hall to protest proposed service cuts.

Toronto ACORN leader Kay Bisnath was the first of several speakers who fired up the crowd in opposition to the impending transit cuts, user fees, and privatized public housing:

"No matter who you voted for, you didn't vote to cut services in Toronto.  We must protect our housing, jobs, and transit so that we have a city that works for everyone."

The massive crowd surrounded City Hall and delivered thousands of postcards to city councillors urging them to vote against the proposed cuts and give respect back to the taxpayers.  In response to the rally, Rob Ford committed to holding public consultations in neighborhoods around the city before following through with the decision.

 

24 Hours Vancouver: Protesters want higher minimum wage

Sept 3rd, 2010 by Kristen McKenzie, 24 Hours Vancouver

Labour Day is just around the corner, but some local workers say there’s not much to celebrate this year.

Members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada (ACORN Canada) rallied outside Liberal MLA Harry Bloy’s Burnaby office Thursday protesting the province’s $8 an hour minimum wage.

“What do we want? Higher minimum wage!” the protesters chanted in unison before trying to enter the office, which they found locked.

“We were told yesterday Harry Bloy would be in his office,” said ACORN Canada member Amanda Boggan. “I guess we maybe scared him off or something … we were hoping to convince him that it’s really important for the Liberals to raise the minimum wage right now because people are really suffering. We were hoping he would hear our stories so he could be better informed about the issue.”

“The $8 an hour minimum wage is appallingly low,” the post-secondary student added. “As a mother, people can’t afford to feed their families, feed their children on that low a wage … people are stuck in these [minimum wage] jobs. They really can’t escape them.”

ACORN member Pearl Davis who works at a donut shop, knows all too well the struggles associated with earning a lower wage.

“I’m having a hard time making ends meet,” the New Westminster resident said. “The rent’s always going up, the bills are going up. I can’t go out and do anything. I can’t go on vacation because I can’t afford it. I don’t have any fun. I just sit at home.”

ACORN is advocating an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $10 an hour, a change Davis believes would be a step in the right direction.

“At least it’s a start,” she said.

Bloy wasn’t available for comment.

 

Original article at: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2010/09/02/15229011.html

Ontario Minimum Wage Rises

Today, Ontario's minimum wage rises to $10.25 per hour - the third and final rise in the past three years.

It was an assertive community based campaign coupled with the by-election loss in York-South Weston (one of Ontario's poorest ridings) that eventually saw the McGuinty government to reverse its long standing opposition to minimum wage increases. Toronto ACORN members were a critical component of this campaign, packing into Town hall meetings, collecting petition signatures and building community support in working family neighbourhoods across Toronto.

Minimum wages remain one of the most important anti-poverty tools available to governments because of there "trickle-up" impact on wages of other low wage workers.  By raising the wage floor we are able to elevate more workers out of poverty - and not just minimum wage workers - but workers earning near the minimum wage.

Unfortunately, Ontario has no more new minimum wage increases planned, leaving open the possibility of these gains being lost to inflation and cost of living increases in years to come.  Ontario ACORN is calling for the Province to lay out a plan for future raises to bring the minimum wage above the poverty line and to peg the minimum wage to inflation.

Toronto ACORN worked closely with the Toronto District Labour Council as well as a number of other groups to help win this important campaign.

Fix EI Petition

Employment Insurance is a key piece of Canada's social safety net, and an important economic stabilizer.  In past recessions it has prevented deeper, longer recession and reduced the shock of job losses on working families and their communities.

As this economic downturn continues, we have an EI system that is weaker than in previous recessions.  Only 42% of unemployed workers receive EI at any given time – Because fewer workers qualify and benefit weeks are reduced.

Now is the time to expand EI to protect workers, their families and vulnerable communities.

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Ontario Takes Modest First Steps Towards Poverty Reduction

Earlier Today, Ontario MPP Deb Mathews released the McGuinty administrations Poverty Reduction Plan.

The plan contains a series of encouraging steps as well as number of clear challenges.

First, the good news; The plan commits the province to reducing Child Poverty by 25% in 5 years and contains some new money for a number of poverty reduction programs including the Child Tax Benefit, the Rent Bank Fund and for the hiring of new employment standards officers to crack down of bad employers.

Now, the challenges; Scaled to the population of Ontario, Quebec made the equivalent of $1 billion of new annual investments in poverty reduction during the early years of their plan. Ontario has only committed to spending $300 million, some of which may have already been allocated. Further, the plan calls on much of the resources required to be meet the goal of 25 in 5 to be committed by the Federal Government, with no hint as to whether or not the Fed's would actually provide the resources.

Work isn't Working for Ontario Families

There have been two important developments in recent weeks of ACORN members taking the lead in the fight to put low and moderate income voices at the center of the discussion around poverty reduction.

First, on May 14th, 40 leading ACORN members traveled from across Toronto to Queen's Park to press their elected representatives on our Provincial Platform. ACORN  members  met with senior members of the Ontario Government as well as the Provincial NDP Caucus  and   brought with them a clear message:

Cap Payday Loan Rates - Ensure that the rate cap in the payday loan legislation focuses on returning money to working families.

License Temp Agencies - To fund pro-active inspections of labour conditions and  set maximum charges that agencies are able to charge employee's for work placements.

Raise the minimum wage - To $11/hour and peg it to inflation.

ACORN Responds to Premier McGuinty's Anti-Poverty Initiatives

We offer this response to the announcement made today by Premier Dalton McGuinty;

While we are encouraged by the announcement of new resources for social housing, dental care and student nutrition, it falls far short of the comprehensive poverty reduction strategy the Premier has promised, and that Ontarians deserve.

What was layed out by Premier McGuinty today are incremental pieces of a larger puzzle of how to reduce poverty in Ontario.  As a membership owned organization, with a large constituency of low and moderate income families, including many members living in social housing, our members call on the provincial government to systemically address the growing rates of poverty in our province by implementing the following platform;

·         Regulation of the payday lending industry

·         Full rent controls to bring private rental housing costs back under control.
·         Upload Social Housing costs.
·         Universal childcare based on Quebec’s $7/day program.
·         Licensing of temp agencies to guarantee the protection of workers basic labour rights.
·         Peg the minimum wage to inflation
·         Raise social assistance and ODSP rates by 40% and peg to inflation.

From Poverty to Prosperity: ACORN Canada Launches People's Platform

ACORN Canada is pleased to announce the launch of our Federal People's Platform. In its pages ACORN has laid out a platform that has been developed through 4 years of grassroots community organizing.

The issues identified we’re set as priorities by ACORN’s low and moderate income membership, and represent what they believe it will take to move From Poverty to Prosperity.

Highlights include the return of the Federal Minimum Wage, a National Living Wage Ordinance, a plan to make banking work for working families, a National Housing Strategy and a new Childcare program.

ACORN Canada Members are gearing up to take these issues to Candidates running in the current Federal Election.

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