March 10th, 2007 - News

Contract job workers left without hope
A pizza deliveryman is told he is a "contract driver," not an employee, then his franchise boss assigns him to work 10 hours straight with no overtime pay. A home-care worker, on 24-hour shifts looking after a man with Alzheimer's disease, signs a contract with a temp agency saying she is "self-employed" and therefore not entitled to the minimum wage. And then there's Boen Hauw Tjoa. His brief experience as a "subcontractor" hired to mop floors and dust offices caused so much distress, it shattered his trust in others. Tjoa, and other workers as he would later discover, all signed an independent contract with the licensee of a commercial cleaning company called Countrywide. He paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees in order to get work, then was told where and when to clean and ordered to buy hundreds of dollars in supplies from the Toronto-area company.