Jobs are a top issue for most people – but not all jobs are equal. Residents of Scarborough need more jobs which provide a living income, benefits, reliable hours and a union to protect against arbitrary treatment by bosses.
Our local economy has been changing in important ways over the last 30 years. Large factories which once provided well-paying, permanent jobs have been closing up, going bankrupt, or shifting production south of the border (or overseas). Good jobs are harder and harder to find because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the rising value of the dollar, and globalization. Areas like the Golden Mile, which originally earned its name from the prosperity that it brought to Scarborough as an important manufacturing centre (e.g. General Motors), are increasingly known for big box shopping malls where major retailers like Wal-Mart and Target offer precarious jobs with wages barely above the minimum wage. Some sub-contracted agencies in industries including cleaning, construction and manufacturing do not even meet this standard and illegally exploit their workforces, most of whom are newcomers to Canada.
Respect Scarborough is committed to working with our partner organizations to raise the standards for work in Scarborough. We need a diversified economic base, more jobs which offer a living wage, and the elimination of substandard employment conditions. We believe in local economic development which provides job opportunities – particularly for our youth and new graduates from high school, college and university – in meaningful employment that enriches our community.