Barrie, ON – It’s not often a political activist gets to witness the fruits of their labour achieving their intended goal but Dan Janssen not only saw it, he also had the opportunity to speak about it.
When the Barrie and District Labour Council was invited to an event where Ontario’s Labour Minister Kevin Flynn would be making announcements regarding how Ontario Bill 148 – The Fair Workplaces/Better Jobs Act 2017 – would improve the lives of working families in Barrie, the council asked Dan Janssen to speak about the $15 and Fairness Campaign. The government passed the Bill into law on November 22nd but not without a concerted push from the $15 and Fairness campaign.
Among other things, the new law will raise the minimum wage in Ontario to $14.00 an hour January 1, 2018 and $15.00 an hour on January 1, 2019.
Janssen, Vice President of IAM Local Lodge 2323 employed at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, has worked hard as a community organizer with the $15 and Fairness campaign for almost three years. “It gave me a tremendous amount of satisfaction knowing our hard work has paid off and that political action can produce results if you push hard enough,” he explained. “The most important part of this campaign was that it brought together various communities, student groups, and thousands of workers to bring fairness and decent work to Ontario. These changes to Ontario’s labour laws and the increase in the minimum wage represents a historic step forward for workers in the province and right here in Barrie.”
“I’m really proud to have been part of this amazing team that built up a movement centered around decent work and fairness in the workplace,” he told the audience. ‘While we recognize this historic victory our work is far from over. Our movement will have to continue to push to close exemptions and loopholes in the Employment Standards Act to ensure that all workers are fully protected by these minimum standards.” We would expect nothing less from a ‘Fighting Machinist’.