Labour Minister told to stop the attack on vulnerable workers

October 18, 2012

OPSEU members in Locals 546 and 585 confronted Labour Minister Linda Jeffrey at her constituency office in Brampton to demand she reinstate 19 Employment Standards Officers her ministry laid off on Sept 20. The lay offs will weaken the enforcement of labour rights for part-time marginalized workers in the province.

OPSEU members handed out more than 100 leaflets to members of the public attending the barbecue at Jeffrey’s office on October 14. A group of Ministry of Labour activists spoke to Minister Jeffrey and her senior aide for about  45 minutes. They told her that the lay offs of the 19 Employment Standards Officers will result in less protection for workers facing predatory employers who fail to meet minimum standards of wages, hours of work, paid holidays and other rights under the Employment Standards Act.  

The layoffs of the 19 members on Sept 20 came only three days after Minister Jeffrey trumpeted in a press release that she was hiring an additional 18 Employment Standards officers, prompting the union to point out she “gives with one hand, and takes with the other.”

The picket was organized by Local 585 president Rick Weaver and Local 546 vice-president Neil Martin on very short notice.  Len Elliot, chair of the OPSEU Ministry of Labour MERC, and MERC member Marty Petrullo attended the event. The MERC has been advocating forcefully for the job security rights of the 19 laid off members.

OPS Bargaining 2012 Index

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