Precarious work is a topic that has been brought up quite often this year, and is a reality for far too many people in Canada.
Precarious is officially defined as people who ‘who fill permanent job needs but are denied permanent employee rights.’ Some of these rights include safe working conditions, benefits and fair wages.
On Oct. 22 the federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau told Canadians that they should get used to the ‘job churn’. In other words, Morneau was telling Canadians that precarious work, especially for young people, was here to stay for a while and we as a country have to prepare for that.
Not all people feel that way.
Author Nora Loreto told CBC that she believes Morneau’s comments are trying to make precarious work seem to be the new normal.
“What’s happening here is Morneau is trying to make something that should not be palatable — be palatable to young people, to tell them to expect that their life is going to be a struggle, that they will not have the ‘good job,'” she explained.
Many experts also point out that the government can do more to change the situation, and if they do not it could create higher costs for the economy.
Fiona McQuarrie, associate professor in the school of business at the University of the Fraser Valley, pointed out that high turnover requires employers to invest in recruiting, hiring and training. Beyond that, employees working in precarious positions often suffer stress and are not able to make major financial investments.
In these precarious jobs people lack the ability to join a union, which can improve not only the quality of life at work, but home life as well. Unionized employees have better wages, more job security, benefits and the comfort of knowing they have support in the workplace.
This ‘job churn’ is something that is affecting our country right now, and together we have to decide how we want the future of employment to be in Canada.