Fairness and security for laid-off workers (Guest commentary)

NDP bill would expand severance rules for smaller employers and require worker agreement in mass layoffs
By Howard Hampton
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/12/2008

For more than a century, manufacturing and resource jobs have formed the foundation of prosperity and economic security for Ontario’s working families. Due to changing economic conditions and the poor choices made by the province’s Liberal government under Premier Dalton McGuinty, that foundation is beginning to crumble.

Statistics Canada says Ontario has lost almost 220,000 manufacturing jobs — that’s almost one out of every five — since July 2004. Even more worrisome, the economy in the United States now appears to have entered a recession, which will inevitably result in reduced demand for Ontario’s manufacturing and resource-based exports.

The job losses I quote are not just numbers. They’re people with families, mortgages and car payments. They’re people who volunteer in their communities. They’re people who work hard and play by the rules so they can make a decent living to support themselves and their loved ones.