April 19, 2018 Latest News

Longtime Peterborough labour activist Marion Burton is this year’s winner of the Scholfield Award of Community Distinction.

Presented by the United Way Peterborough and District since 2004, the award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding contributions and ability to mobilize change within the community. Longtime philanthropists Paul and Ina Scholfield were the first recipients in 2004.

Burton received her award on Thursday morning at the United Way’s office.

“It’s a great honour. I know the award has been in the community for a number of years, and some really great people that really give a lot to the community have been recognized. To receive this award is a great moment for me,” Burton said.



April 19, 2018 Latest News

Labour activist Marion Burton is this year’s recipient of the Schofield Award of Community Distinction.

The award, established by the United Way of Peterborough and District in 2004, recognizes an individual or organization for an outstanding contribution and ability to mobilize change in the community.

“Marion has been a longtime volunteer in the community with the Labour Council and otherwise,” says Karen Wilson, chair of the United Way.

“In my regular job, labour issues and employment issues are very, very important. I’m with Employment Planning and Counselling Peterborough so there’s been many, many opportunities for me to see Marion at community meetings and get togethers. (She’s) always willing to put forth a lot of effort.”



April 10, 2018 Latest News

Gym giant GoodLife Fitness has settled a class-action lawsuit over unpaid wages for $7.5 million, after employees claimed the company “systematically failed” to accurately compensate them for hours of work and overtime.

The suit originally filed in October 2016 by Toronto-based labour law firm Goldblatt Partners alleged that the gym did not pay employees for certain kinds of work, such as preparation for classes and seeking out new clients, and created “an unlawful barrier to payment of overtime” at its 166 locations across Ontario.

Last year, the scope of the suit was expanded nationwide — so the settlement, which is pending court approval, will impact thousands of current and former non-managerial employees across Canada.

After the $60 million class action launched, GoodLife made significant changes to its payment policies. It began paying personal trainers for their prospecting hours and removed clawbacks on their commission. It also began paying trainers for preparation and administrative tasks and paying lieu time at time-and-a-half, rather than straight time, as required by law.


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April 10, 2018 Latest News

Temporary help agencies “create significant challenges” for the provincial worker compensation board and are more likely than other Ontario employers to break the law, according to an internal audit obtained by the Star.

The findings were the result of a “compliance intervention” strategy conducted by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board from 2013 to 2016, and were released to the Star under freedom of information laws. The audit found that temp agencies were significantly more likely to misreport their payroll to the board, and more likely not to pay mandatory insurance premiums.

Employers are required by law to report their payroll, which is then used by the compensation board to calculate how much employers owe in premium payments. These premiums are used to fund benefits paid to injured workers across the province.

While overall employer compliance in Ontario, according to WSIB audits, was 77 per cent, the audit found that only 38 per cent of temp agency employers followed suit.

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April 6, 2018 Latest News

Review of census data also shows wage gaps for women and racial minorities entrenched with little change over a decade.

Canadian universities and colleges talk a lot about the importance of equity and diversity on campus.

Yet when it comes to the academic workforce, little has changed in the last decade, with only a handful of Black and Indigenous professors, fewer women with coveted full-time positions than men, and “significant wage gaps” that penalize female and racialized staff, according to a new report.

The result is faculties that fail to reflect the range of backgrounds and identities of the students they teach, says the study, released Friday by the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

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April 6, 2018 Latest News

The province’s Pay Transparency Act pales in light of what’s being done in other countries, writes Jennifer Wells.

“I don’t know if there’s any place called Damascus between here and, say, Hamilton or something, but somewhere she was travelling and she got the lightning bolt, and all of a sudden she’s found her conscience.”

I am quoting here John Yakabuski, PC Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, who narratively entertained the Ontario legislature on budget day, ostensibly debating the government’s pay transparency bill and what he assessed as the premier’s sudden social awareness, while managing to weave in bake sales, Buck Martinez, Willie Mays and the 1968 Mustang into which Yakabuski’s mother would cram 10 kids, which resulted in ill effects on the rear tires so that when she went to gas up at Raymond Conway’s, Ray would say, “Doreen, you’re going to have to get those tires replaced. The treads are showing through.”

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April 6, 2018 Latest News

A series of very-public missteps have lead to a terrible, horrible no good, very bad year for the giant coffee chain.

Here’s one way to put Tim Hortons quickly deteriorating reputation into perspective: Canadians think more highly of Loblaw’s, a company that recently admitted to being a major player in a bread price-fixing scandal that lasted for decades, than the storied coffee chain. When research firm Leger released its annual corporate reputation report Thursday, the survey found Tim Hortons was the 50th most reputable company among consumers.

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March 16, 2018 Latest News

For low-income earners in Ontario, what’s better for the bottom line — lower income taxes, or a higher minimum wage?

Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford calls the Liberal and NDP pledge to increase rates to $15 an hour by 2019 a tax grab. According to economist Sheila Block, the move would mean an extra $1,465 in the pockets of the working poor.

The question is already a key debate between parties vying for votes, with both Liberals and New Democrats promising to implement the wage hike. The Conservatives, meanwhile, say they will freeze wages at their current $14 hourly rate and eliminate provincial income tax for everyone earning below $30,000. The Conservatives would have no say over the federal portion of income taxes.

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March 16, 2018 Latest News

In a surprise move, Premier Kathleen Wynne has briefly prorogued the Ontario Legislature and says a throne speech Monday will detail the government’s priorities in the time remaining before the June election.

“Today’s changing economy means there are some hard realities that are affecting people’s everyday lives, and creating an unfair burden,” Wynne said in a statement.

“We know families are under a lot of pressure … This throne speech is about making it clear we recognize peoples’ stress and anxiety and that our government is making deliberate choices to invest in the care and the services that the people of this province rely on.”

Because of the March Break, the house is not sitting and no days in the legislature will be lost, Wynne noted.

All bills will be reintroduced, including a recent one tabled that aims to narrow the gender wage gap.

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The Peterborough and District Labour Council (PDLC) is the central body of union locals in the Peterborough area (Peterborough County plus Omemee) who are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

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