This afternoon Deena Ladd, Rafael Gomez, and Jim Sinclair joined us to discuss the rise of precarious work and inequality and the potential for sectoral bargaining as a partial solution.
Ladd, coming from the Workers’ Action Centre in Toronto, Ontario, spoke about the rise of precarious jobs – jobs with low wages, little to no benefits or job security that is often contract or part-time work. Ladd argued that we need to view employment standards as the collective agreement for all non-union workers and we must work to improve that collective agreement.
Gomez, coming from the University of Toronto, spoke about the rise of inequality in Canada and his experience in the recent Ontario labour and employment standards review. Gomez showed how unions help make our society more equal in terms of pay, political participation, and in workplaces.
Sinclair, the past president of the BC Federation of Labour, spoke about the potential for different kind of unionization, such as sectoral bargaining, to help curb raising inequality and the growth of precarious jobs. Sinclair also spoke about the need for the labour code in Alberta to change so that unions can get back to organizing and collectively bargaining to help improve workers’ lives.