Toronto’s race to the bottom

So the Fordists at Toronto City Hall want to accelerate the race to the bottom by contracting out about 1000 cleaning jobs to low-wage contractors.. These hard working people are looking at going from barely a living wage to a minimum age.

There always be piranhas taking advantage of new immigrants, undocumented workers and refugees.

But a great city will not allow this.

I gave a deputation to the Community Development and Recreation Committee n NOV 4 rejecting this.

Part of this committee’s mandate is “social cohesion.”

How will this attack on the se workers promote social cohesion?The right wing councillor whom Ford placed in charge of this committee george Mammoliti refused to chair the meeting and walked out and referred to those deputing and the committee itself as “a socialist dumping ground.” That is how out of it this guy is.

I gave my deputation to the largely progressive councillors. I represented the Roman Catholic tradition as it pertains to workers and the Living Wage.

As far back as Leo Xlll in 1891 we reminded the world
“Wealthy owners of the means of production and employers must never forget that both divine and human law forbid them to squeeze the poor and wretched for the sake of gain or to profit from the helplessness of others.” (#17)

and 40 years later Pius X1 stated:

Every effort must therefore be made that fathers of families receive a wage large enough to meet ordinary family needs adequately. But if this cannot always be done under existing circumstances, social justice demands that changes be introduced as soon as possible whereby such a wage will be assured to every adult workingman (No. 71).

The Church was just getting warmed up. In 1940 the US bishops weighed in:

The first claim of labor, which takes priority over any claim of the owners to profits, respects the right to a living wage. By the term living wage we understand a wage sufficient not merely for the decent support of the workingman himself but also of his family. A wage so low that it must be supplemented by the wage of wife and mother or by the children of the family before it can provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter together with essential spiritual and cultural needs cannot be regarded as a living wage. Furthermore, a living wage means sufficient income to meet not merely the present necessities of life but those of unemployment, sickness, death, and old age as well.

More on this later.


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