Josie Rudderham, certified living wage employer, testifies before a government panel on bill 148 in 2017.
Businesses shun move to roll back workers rights, opting for the high road
We are a network of business owners challenging the corporate lobby narrative saying decent work laws are bad for business.
We have found the opposite - when we take care of employees and provide decent jobs, our businesses are more successful.
By scrapping most of Bill 148 - a $15 minimum wage, a couple paid leave days, equal pay, fair scheduling - the Ford government has shown that it is fundamentally for the big business lobbies who have proven themselves to be anti-worker.
There is another side to the story...
Most Ontario businesses already pay more than $15/hour. Most Ontario businesses support flexibility for their employees including paid sick days. Most Ontario businesses are small or medium in size, quietly working, creating decent jobs in our communities.
And many are speaking up.
The Ontario Living Wage Network and the Better Way Alliance are two examples of business groups whose members embrace employee well-being as a smart investment.
People ask us - if we already pay well, and work to create decent jobs, why get involved? Why expect other businesses to step up?
On a business level, it's unfair for us to compete with the businesses who do profit off sub-par wages and low quality jobs. On a social and economic level, it's important that people who work are able to make a good enough living to put money back into our local businesses - and that people don't suffer unduly for taking a couple sick or emergency leave days.
Is a job that pays $14/hour with erratic and unpredictable scheduling and zero paid sick days a good, or even decent job on which you could make a living?
The government needs to stop pretending that this move is about cutting red tape, when really it's about placating the corporate lobbies, at the expense of the working people who help each and every business succeed.
We are on a mission to show that there is another way to do business, and it does pay off.
We will lead by example, and help business owners join us for happier, healthier, more prosperous–decent–work.