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Do we need more unions?

  • Global News Radio 900 CHML
  • |
  • Jan 17, 2018
Do we need more unions?

Recent protests about some Tim Hortons franchises and other businesses reducing workers’ benefits to cope with a minimum wage hike, have prompted calls for more unions.

Associate Professor Ann Frost spoke with Global News Radio 900 CHML about how Ontario’s labour laws make it difficult for workers in franchise operations to join unions, and the need for modernized laws that better reflect the realities of today’s workplace.

“The way it’s set up now is it’s not cost-effective for unions to do that kind of organizing (of franchises and small businesses). It’s very, very expensive,” she says. “Part of the problem that the unions face is dealing with labour law that was written in the 1940s. The workplace has changed and the economy has changed, and our labour law reflects an old economy.”

Frost also says she hopes the Tim Hortons issue will prompt the Ontario government to consider ways to improve the labour market.

“I think part of what the government has to look at is the economy as a whole and think about what is good legislation for work in general, for our economy, and for workers,” she says. “It’s not just about targeting small businesses and saying, ‘You’re doing a bad thing here.’ We need to think more broadly about our economy and creating good jobs.”

Listen to the interview below (00:00-10:10)