Labour

A) Employment Standards

The Green Party will ensure that the Employment Standards Act and its regulations are improved to provide workers with a decent standard of living and work conditions. Further it will ensure that resources are invested in the monitoring of the application of the standards. To that effect, a Green government would:  

  • establish standard employment contracts that meet employment standards;

  • broaden the definition of the employment relationship to include dependent contractors;

  • ensure mandatory severance pay for employees;

  • promote access to information on labour laws, for example by ensuring that employers post in the workplace in a conspicuous place the rights and protections of workers as set out in the Employment Standards Act;

  • grant workers a paid 15-minute break for every three hours of work;

  • add a statutory paid holiday to be celebrated in February;

  • ensure that for all hours exceeding the standard work week, the employee receives the hourly wage plus an additional premium pay of 50% of regular wage;

  • ensure employers' issued uniforms be supplied free for employees who work for a minimum wage and the upkeep or charges of the uniform for employees who make more than the minimum wage not bring their pay to below minimum wage.  Where it is mandatory to wear a uniform with a logo, the employee cannot be required to pay for it or for the cleaning; and

  • ensure that employees receive three weeks’ vacation after four years of continuous employment, and four weeks’ vacation after eight years of continuous employment.

  • Amend Legislation to deal with unfunded private pension funds and to establish pension fund priority standing in the case of a bankruptcy.

 

B) Minimum Wage

In order to ensure that workers are compensated for their labour at a level that allows them to live in dignity, a Green government would:

  • provide for the gradual increase of the minimum wage so it reaches 15$/hour by 2020 and adjust it hereafter to the cost of living on April 1 of every year;

  • provide a livable minimum wage calculated based on Statistics Canada’s market basket cost estimates for New Brunswick; and

  • support small businesses through targeted programs to offset the increased employment costs associated with increasing minimum wage.

 

C) Trade Union Rights

A Green government would:

  • provide for multi-employer accreditation, allowing for employees doing a similar job, employed by different corporate entities but directed by the same owner, to form a single bargaining unit;

  • amend the Industrial Relations Act to prevent the use of substitute employees by the employer involved in a labor dispute as well as the use of alleged volunteers;

  • ban both lockouts and recourse of ex parte injunctions against picketing; and


review the application of the Public Service Relations Act to ensure that it does not through the exclusion process unduly deny employees the right to belong to a union and participate in its activities.  Further, review the designation of essential services process to ensure it does not render the right to strike illusory.

 

D) Employment Discrimination

A Green government would:

  • amend the Human Rights Act to limit settlement efforts to cases where there are genuine misunderstandings.  All complaints which have merit in the opinion of the Human Rights Commission should be referred to the Labour and Employment Board for a determination in accordance with sec. 23 of the Human Rights Act;

  • legislate an affirmative action framework to provide equal access to employment in public bodies in order to remedy the situation experienced by certain groups discriminated against in employment, namely women, handicapped persons, aboriginal peoples and persons who are members of visible or ethnic minorities; and strengthen and extend the enforcement of the Pay Equity Act to all public and private workplaces.

 

E) Workplace Health and Safety

In order to ensure that employers are accountable for the health and safety of their workplaces, a Green government would:

  • amend the Health and Safety Act to provide for an efficient process for the adoption of up-to-date standards for the operation of machinery and protection against specific risks (electrical, chemical, physical, psychological, etc.);

  • recognize mental health issues, psychological abuse, and violence in the workplace and their impact on the health and safety of workers; and

  • legislate presumptions for diseases or conditions which have been shown to be or are considered to be a hazard associated with that occupation (ex. silicosis for miners).

 

F) Rights of Foreign Temporary Workers

In order to protect the rights of Foreign Temporary Workers, a Green government would:

  • require that employers provide all foreign temporary workers with a copy of the Employment Standards Act and their contract of employment in a language that they understand;

  • provide foreign temporary workers with the necessary support in case of violation of their rights or their contract of employment;

  • ensure that WorkSafe NB regularly inspects workplaces where foreign temporary workers are employed and provide compensation and rehabilitation without discrimination to injured foreign temporary workers;

  • apply the International Labour Organization (ILO) C189 - Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189); and

  • give foreign temporary workers the right to change employer and to choose their place of residence.

 

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Our Principles

> Non-Violence

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Self-Determination and Citizenship

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Social Justice and Equality

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Participatory Democracy

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Local Self-Reliance

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> Living within Our Ecological Means

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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