Take the Time
Important campaign update: On November 27, 2012 a majority of Toronto City Council voted to preserve all provincial statutory holidays for city retail workers. The CAW, along with Local 414, would like to thank all retail workers (from union and non-union shops) for participating in this important - and historic - campaign. The union will continue to advocate for stronger legislated standard for retail workers across Canada.
Take the Time Out to Protect Time Off!
In 2010, business community representatives approached city councillors in Toronto encouraging them to pass a law enabling retailers to open up shop during statutory holidays.
For Toronto-area businesses, statutory holiday closures (like on Christmas and Easter) equates to lost profits. However, for many retail sector workers, holiday closures offer much needed time off the job to enjoy some planned leisure time with family and friends. In the hectic world of retail work, schedules change on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, and it's increasingly hard to spend quality time away from work. Even if these work hours are considered optional, past practice suggests many workers will be scheduled to work anyway (without being asked) and face discipline if they don't.
Many workers will take the hours simply to pick up additional pay, since retail wages are substandard - and that's simply not fair, why exploit it?
The City's Economic Development Committee - after consulting exclusively with business community leaders - recommended that City Council endorse a proposal to kill mandatory store closures on stat holidays. The CAW sprung into action, writing to every Toronto councillor, imploring them to rethink this proposal and to only revisit it after a full consultation with unions, workers and advocate agencies.
That effort succeeded. In May 2010, City Council voted to postpone the decision.
Fast forward to today. The Economic Development Committee is engaging all interested stakeholders in this discussion, including (thankfully) the CAW and other retail unions. The City's even gone so far as to post an online survey, soliciting feedback from members of the community.
Take a moment to fill out the survey below.
Free trade with the European Union is a bad idea for Canada
The Harper government's relentless push to sign a new Canada-EU free trade deal would undermine the rights of federal, provincial and municipal governments to manage public spending over goods and services; it would privatize public services like drinking water, prevent us from adopting strong measures to combat climate change and wipe out up to 150,000 Canadian jobs, among a long list of additional concerns. CAW President Ken Lewenza says: