Friday, June 8, 2012

Adios fair wages and hours of work...

Part of the Harper government’s federal omnibus bill apparently contains a repeal of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act.  This act requires federal contractors performing construction, remodeling, renovation of demolition work to pay wages consistent with the wages earned by others in the jurisdiction and limit overtime and require and overtime premium.

The omnibus bill will also removed federal contractors from the ambit of the Employment Equity Act.  This act requires such contractors to not discriminate against workers and, specifically, to remedy long-standing forms of discrimination, such as systemically lower wages for women.

Repealing these laws is part of a broader attack on the rights and wages of workers and are designed to cheapen labour for employers. In this case, the federal government appears to be saying that it is fine for taxpayer dollars to be given to companies engage in regressive employment practices that target traditionally vulnerable groups (I’m paraphrasing, of course…).

Is it any wonder the NDP are now just as popular as the Conservative party among voters?

-- Bob Barnetson

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