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Precarious labour debated in Parliament

Photo: Andrew Cash

Andrew Cash wonders why there aren't any labour ballads about cashiers. Considering the changing nature of work in this country, the Davenport MP and former musician thinks we need some new tunes to match the times.

On Thursday, Members of the House of Commons had their first opportunity to debate the issue of precarious and freelance labour in Parliament. 

Bill C-542, the Urban Workers Strategy Act, was put forward as a private member's bill by Cash in 2013, and has now been submitted for its second reading in the House.

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Ontario precarious workers 'Still Living on the Edge,' report

Photo: flickr/Jose Maria Cuellar

"Still Living on the Edge," a new report released today, finds that Ontario's employment laws are failing low-wage and precarious workers.

Forty per cent of Ontarians work 'non-standard jobs,' meaning part-time, temporary, or independent contract work, and 33 per cent work low-wage jobs. But, as the report shows, Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) has not adapted to protect the growing number of precarious workers in the province.

First written in the post-WWII prosperity era, Ontario's Employment Standard Act (ESA) assumes economic stability and a labour market dominated by full-time permanent jobs with employment benefits and steady wage increases. But those are not the times we live in.

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Photo: Jake Wright/Wikimedia Commons
| February 10, 2015
Photo: flickr/mostlyconservative
| February 9, 2015

New jobs at EI centres not about helping the public service but saving face, says union

Photo: flickr/Vitor Lima

People waiting for employment insurance (EI) benefits may get their questions answered sooner than before, as the federal government has promised to add around 400 new public servants in order to deal with a high number of complaints.

On Tuesday, Minister of Employment Jason Kenney confirmed to The Globe and Mail plans to bolster Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) with more staff as nearly 10,000 Canadians complained about poor service, unanswered phone calls and long waiting times for EI inquiries.

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