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Arthurs' Report on Federal Labour Standards

Working Canadians Want Adoption of Many Recommendations 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO- Oct. 30, 2006 - The Canadian Labour Congress welcomes the Arthurs' Report on Part III of the Canada Labour Code as a very positive basis for reform of federal labour standards legislation and administration. The Final Report by Commissioner Harry Arthurs on the Review of Part III, Federal Labour Standards (Canada Labour Code) is an important document because it is the first thorough official review of working standards at the federal level since 1965.

"This Report offers practical and overdue recommendations to implement employment standards that fit the times. The nature of work and the faces of the workforce have changed in the forty-one years since Part III of the Canada Labour Code was adopted," say Ken Georgetti, president and Hassan Yussuff, secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress who, served as labour advisors to Commissioner Arthurs.
"Both Hassan and I feel that Professor Arthurs consulted widely and appropriately with labour, employers, experts and community groups. His Report is, overall, fair and balanced," adds Georgetti.

Canadian labour particularly welcomes the recommendation for a federal minimum wage which would be a living wage, sufficient to keep a single full-time earner above the poverty line. The Report also recommends improved rights to leaves and limits on long hours.

Hassan Yussuff explains: "We need standards that reflect the reality of the majority of today's workers who have employment relationships that are part-time, temporary, contract, with variable schedules or "non standard" in many other ways. The Arthurs' Report recommendations would allow these workers to better balance employment with family, learning, and other responsibilities."

To that effect, Yussuff also welcomes the very clear focus on ensuring employer compliance with standards which would make Labour Canada inspectors much more effective in ensuring that workers' rights are respected.

Canadian labour has some concerns over the extent to which employers in non-union workplaces might be allowed to vary standards with respect to hours and work schedules.

"We anticipate consultations on the Report. Mr. Arthurs does not have the last word and we do not agree with all of his recommendations. However, he has given us a very clear and useful road map to reform," Georgetti concludes.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 135 district labour councils. Web site: 

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