Good jobs are too hard to find

We all deserve a good job with decent pay and benefits. Secure work is tougher to find. The cost of living is making life unaffordable for too many Canadians. Support the creation of good jobs.
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Canada’s unions are working to create good jobs for everyone.

Fair Wages and Work (Federal Standards)

We know the value of good, stable work. Yet in Canada, precarious, part-time, and contract work is on the rise. Many of the new jobs being created today are low-paid and precarious. Even highly skilled and educated workers face precarity as more than 1 in 5 professionals now work in precarious jobs.

Workers need to be treated fairly and paid a living wage. We need the federal government to reinstate a minimum hourly wage for workers in federally regulated sectors. The initial wage must be at least $15 an hour and increase through indexation.

In addition, we are calling on the federal government to eliminate incentives for employers to take advantage of workers. This includes eliminating the payroll and tax advantages that incentivize employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors. The government needs to ensure consistent enforcement so that employers who violate labour standards are held liable.

Today, many of us are working longer hours. When we get home after a long day we deserve the right to disconnect. This means we shouldn’t have to juggle family duties while trying to respond to work-related communications outside of normal work hours. Employers should be prevented from penalizing workers for not responding on their own personal time.

Furthermore, the federal government needs to invest in the Canadian workforce by ensuring workers receive the benefits they need to succeed.

We call on the federal government to expand universal, portable, and public benefits like pharmacare, public pensions, dental care and child care.

We must also do much more to support workers in the gig economy, freelancers, and those who perform non-standard work. Specifically, the government must work with industry groups, digital platforms, labour and vulnerable workers to establish sectoral and multi-employer group coverages so workers don’t fall through the cracks.

Pay and Employment Equity

Workers deserve and expect equal pay based on employment. That’s a basic right. Yet, corporations discriminate in pay and benefits based on the nature of employment. The federal government needs to ensure fairness and prohibit corporations from offering part-time, casual and temporary workers less pay and fewer benefits for doing the same job as full-time, permanent workers. Part-time, casual and temporary workers are entitled to equal benefits and compensation for the work they do.

While women on average get paid roughly 87 cents for every dollar a man gets paid, systemic racism and prejudice result in racialized women earning even less. Racialized women on average earn only 58 cents for every dollar a non-racialized man makes.

Transphobia is also prevalent in the workplace and in the hiring process. Approximately 50% of trans folks earn less than $15,000 a year.


With climate change and automation, we are seeing the necessary evolution of various workplaces. Offering training for workers is a necessary and smart investment.

Workers who take part in training and improve literacy and upgrade skills in turn earn better wages by opening up new job and career opportunities. Employers report underinvesting in workplace skills out of fear that competitors will then poach their skilled workers. We need government policy that overcomes this “free rider” concern and ensures all employers contribute towards training workers.

Implementing a 1% payroll levy on employers who don’t invest in skills training, a system that already exists in Quebec, would achieve this goal.

To further foster a culture of lifelong learning and help employees adjust to changing technology and skills requirements, workers need the right to take annual training leaves to continuously upgrade their skills.

Employment Insurance

When someone is in between jobs, or not working due to health issues, they need support. No one can control when they get sick. Despite paying into Employment Insurance (EI), too many workers cannot access EI benefits when their job ends.

The government should implement a universal threshold so if someone works 360 or more hours, they receive regular benefits.

At the moment, EI benefits are too low to live on. The benefit level should be increased to cover 60% of earnings up to the maximum so workers can get by until they find a new job or return to their old one.

Lastly, the government should expand the number of weeks for EI sickness benefits and improve the design for workers with episodic or long-term illnesses.

Gender Wage Gap and Accessible, Affordable Child Care

Canada needs to get serious about closing the gender wage gap. Employers must be required to disclose their gender and disability wage gaps so we can hold them accountable.

We know access to universal, affordable, high-quality child care and early learning improves women’s participation in the workforce. Improving parental benefits, as seen in Quebec, is also important to closing women’s pay and employment gaps with men, as is increasing parental leave reserved for the non-birthing parent.

Temporary and Migrant Workers

Temporary and migrant workers often do the worst and most dangerous jobs in Canada.

The way we treat our most vulnerable workers is a reflection of who we are as a country.

We must do better.

We can start by ensuring migrant workers can escape abusive employers without jeopardizing their right to live and work in Canada. Farm workers, including migrants, must have the right to unionize and bargain collectively. Additionally, the government needs to reverse the 2012 decision to disqualify seasonal migrant workers from receiving parental benefits, despite the fact that they pay into EI.

In addition, we call on the government of Canada to work with foreign embassies of sending countries to ensure temporary foreign workers coming to Canada are informed of their rights.

We also call on the government of Canada to work with the provinces to institute a licensing system for foreign recruiters (as is done in several provinces) and a registration system for employers.

Lastly, migrant workers deserve a path towards citizenship because if you’re good enough to work here, you’re good enough to stay here.