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14 years under federal labour "standards"

by Michella,

I am a mother of 2 who has worked in an industry covered by federal labour rules. I started working full-time 14 years ago but when I had my kids I went to part-time. I wish I could have stayed home to raise them but our family was not in a position to do so. I now make much less than when I was full-time, and, I make less than someone who is hired off the street as a full-timer...for the exact same job! I do the very same work as someone hired full-time and even with the years of extra experience I have, they think it's ok to pay me (and other part-timers) less. Why? Because they can. And outdated laws allow them to.

The shifts worked by my colleagues are typically 7-12 hours long. Scheduling of appropriate break times are really big problem because the company has only a very basic obligation under the laws. It's not unusaly to only get 15 minute breaks here and there and the company says it's because of "operational requirements" Employees are people, not robots. We need time to eat, go to the washroom and rest adequately.

I wonder also if the money I have socked away in my pension will even be there when I retire?!

I feel like the industries covered under federal jurisdiction have gotten a free pass for a long time on the backs of their employees. I look at the list of industries and these are hugely profitable companies like banks, telecom providers, airlines , etc. And yet they seem to have the lowest common denominator of rules! I am so glad these are going to be brought up to date. When I look to my friends and family who work under the standards of the province we live in, I'm amazed. It's night and day better than federal rules. Simple things like breaks and sick time. Please bring us decent, modern labour standards.

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