“Bill 124 hurts Ontario workers” says Ontario unions as Superior Court hears legal challenge

Don Mills, Ontario, CANADA


TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Workers gathered on the steps of the Superior Court of Justice this morning, as the Court prepared to begin hearing the constitutional challenge to Bill 124 brought forward by unions across the province. The bill caps public sector compensation at one per cent, at a time when inflation is higher than it has been in forty years.

Leaders from six unions highlighted the unconstitutionality of Bill 124, and the devastating impact it has had on workers since it was introduced by Ford’s Conservative government in 2019.

“Today marks an important milestone in the fight against Bill 124. This wage suppression legislation has attacked fundamental trade union rights here in Ontario,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “Bill 124 represents a blatant attack on free and fair collective bargaining. It interferes with this constitutional right, and tips the scales in favour of employers even before the parties sit down at the bargaining table together.”

In addition to the unconstitutional nature of Bill 124, union leaders pointed to the effect that it has had on Ontario’s health care system, which is currently facing an unprecedented staffing crisis. “By suppressing wages and limiting or denying frontline health care workers the supports they need to do their jobs, the Ford government has made a terrible situation even worse,” said Coates.

Speakers also underscored the devastating impact that Bill 124 has had on Equity in the province, noting that the majority of workers affected by the bill are women, especially racialized women. “Bill 124 has the effect of targeting an already vulnerable group of workers and making their conditions of work even worse. It is not an overstatement to say that Bill 124 deepens the sexism and racism that so many Ontario workers experience,” added Coates.

Unions are confident in the emerging public consensus that Bill 124 must be scrapped. “Bill 124 hurts Ontario workers. It hurts the labour relations framework in Ontario. It hurts our public services. It hurts everyone who relies on our health care system. We are all harmed by Bill 124. It must go.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, please contact:
Melissa Palermo
Communications Director
Ontario Federation of Labour
mpalermo@ofl.ca | 416-894-3456

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