Global Day of Action in Thunder Bay
THUNDER BAY – On the steps of Thunder Bay City Hall this morning, representatives and members of the public rallied as part of the Global Day of Action for Fairness in the Workplace.
The rally hosted by the Thunder Bay $15 and Fairness Committee, allowed people to bring their concerns forward to share with the audience.
Thunder Bay Rainy River MP John Rafferty
Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer
Thunder Bay City Councillor Paul Pugh
The Rally was attended by about thirty people.
Communities across Ontario are joining the North American-wide movement for decent work and a $15 minimum wage. On April 15, actions are taking place in over 200 cities in the US, Canada and around the world.
In Ontario, workers want Labour Minister Kevin Flynn to use the current review of employment and labour law as an opportunity to curb employer practices that undermine decent wages and working conditions in Ontario.
Workers are also taking their message to the doorsteps of McDonald’s, a profitable multi-national corporation that is renown for its low-wage employment practices.
“McDonald’s has come to exemplify unstable, low-wage, part-time employment,” says Patti Dalton, a teacher and member of the London Common Front. “Yet last year, McDonald’s made $6.7 billion in profit. There’s no reason why that corporation – and others like it – can’t provide decent wages and benefits. The time has come for governments everywhere to compel profitable corporations like McDonald’s to raise wages and improve working conditions.”
“We’re showing our support for workers earning poverty-level wages in the United States. We want to help build that movement for a just society,” said SEIU Healthcare president Sharleen Stewart. “Fight for 15 is all about justice for working people so that everyone can earn a living wage.”
Speakers addressed issues of workplace fairness, and of the struggles of living on minimum wage.
Twenty-one percent of the jobs in Thunder Bay are in Wholesale and Retail, twenty-three percent of jobs are in the Health Sector. Many of these jobs are, according to rally organizers precarious and pay less than $15 per hour.
One area of concern raised was on how many people working low-paying jobs are forced to work several jobs in order to try to survive. They are often juggling their jobs, and lives in order to keep their head above water.