Cheated workers win $1.2M in back pay


Angel Reyes happy to get the money he was cheated out of

ANGEL REYES WILL FINALLY GET PAID WHAT HE’S WORTH. Along with 1600 other workers at the Canada Fibers depot in Toronto.

The North York recycling plant has been ordered to pay $1.2 million in back pay to its workers for violating the City of Toronto’s fair wage policy.

An investigation by Toronto’s Fair Wage Office found Canada Fibers had been cheating its workers for years. Canada Fibers Ltd. has two seven-year contracts to process blue bin recyclables for the city. The two contracts are worth more than $264 million to the company.

The contracts stipulated that the company pay all its workers, including temp agency hires, $12.34 an hour, with pay increases tied to inflation. Canada Fibers never did.

Angel Reyes worked at Canada Fibers for five years as a temporary worker. He earned the minimum wage. When he spoke out about this situation in 2015 he was fired.

Paying cheated workers is a ‘beautiful thing.’

“Now, many workers, they’re going to get some money,” said Reyes. “That’s a beautiful thing.”

Most workers owed money were hired through temp agencies. The city investigation found Canada Fibers was using five different temp agencies to staff its facilities.

“We’re glad to see that the Fair Wages Office investigated and that temp agency workers will hopefully recoup their lost wages,” said Mary Gellatly of Parkdale Community Legal Services. The Canada Fibers case also highlights why provincial legislation is needed to cover all workers in Ontario—not just the ones who work for the City of Toronto.

“This is why the Bill 148 provision for equal work for equal pay for temp agency workers is so important,” she said.

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