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Thousands rally for $15 minimum wage, mandatory paid sick days

Last Updated Apr 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm EDT

Thousands of people gathered across the province on Friday in a national day of action to demand a fair work environment for all Canadians – including a higher minimum wage and mandatory paid sick days.

#15andFairness rallies were held in cities all across Ontario including Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kingston, Guelph, North Bay, Ottawa and Sudbury.

The day of action called for $15 minimum wage, decent hours, seven paid sick days a year, respect at work and rules that protect everyone.

“Ontario’s Ministry of Labour is currently reviewing all the laws that govern our workplaces. This means in 2016, there is a real opportunity to improve working conditions across the province,” organizers posted on the event’s Facebook page.

“Decent wages and hours, paid sick days and stronger enforcement of our rights are all within our reach but we have to stand up and send a strong message to our elected officials!” the statement continues.

In Toronto, a Health provider leaflet blitz took place during the morning rush at Dufferin Subway Station. Across the lunch hour two separate rallies began – one at College and University and the other at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – before marching to the Ministry of Labour on University Avenue.

It was announced earlier this month that as of Oct. 1, the minimum wage in Ontario would increase from $11.25 per hour to $11.40 per hour.