By: The Working Forest Staff
TORONTO — The Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, allow delivery workers access to company washrooms at businesses where they are delivering or picking up items. Consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee have indicated that couriers, truck drivers, and people who deliver food, including those for online delivery platform companies such as SkipTheDishes, are often denied use of a washroom at businesses they serve.
Details were shared today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, who was joined by Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation (Transit-Oriented Communities), Deepak Anand, Parliamentary Assistant to Minister McNaughton, and Christine Hogarth, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore.
“This is something most people in Ontario take for granted but access to washrooms is a matter of common decency currently being denied to hundreds of thousands of workers in this province,” said Minister McNaughton. “Workers who deliver and pick up goods have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, ensuring that essential supplies continue to reach the people of Ontario. Providing these hardworking men and women with access to washrooms is a small change that will make a big difference, so they can do their jobs with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
Today’s announcement is part of the government’s broader efforts to protect and support vulnerable workers, such as those who have kept essential goods moving and the economy going through the pandemic. On Monday, the government announced the intent to introduce legislation that, if passed, would require temporary help agencies (THAs) and recruiters to have a licence to operate in the province.
At the start of the pandemic, the government opened additional rest stops for truck drivers to provide them with more places to safely stop and keep critical products moving. The proposed change is another step by the government to show respect and fairness to hardworking couriers and truck drivers.
This is also part of the government’s broader effort to protect, support and attract workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family.
- In 2020, on average, 203,700 people in Ontario were working as transport, bus, taxi, and delivery drivers.
- In 2020, on average, 30,800 people in Ontario were working as mail, couriers, messengers, and door-to-door distributors.
- The proposed new measures only apply to businesses where workers like truck drivers, couriers, or food delivery workers are picking up or delivering food or other items.
- The proposed new measures are not applicable to businesses that they are not delivering or picking up items from, or to private residences.
“The Ontario Trucking Association is extremely thankful to Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development for recognizing our drivers as the true heroes they are and encouraging everyone in the supply chain to do their part in treating drivers with respect. The Minister saw a problem and implemented a solution that will no doubt serve as a model for other jurisdictions across North America.”
– Stephen Laskowski
President and CEO, Ontario Trucking Association
“I want to thank all the workers who have kept essential goods moving throughout the pandemic. You and your hard work kept the economy going and Ontario families were able to put food on their tables and have access to other vital goods.”
– Christine Hogarth
MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore
“For professional drivers and delivery workers who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic for the past 19 months, the inability to access restroom facilities has been a major irritant. This legislation recognizes the essential work that these men and women have been doing and provides them with the working conditions and respect they deserve.”
– Francois Laporte
President, Teamsters Canada