Parkdale Community Legal Services marks million-dollar milestone in helping ‘precarious’ workers

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Parkdale Community Legal Services marks million-dollar milestone in helping ‘precarious’ workers

TORONTO, January 31, 2014 – Although precarious employment grows in Ontario, many workers in these poorly paid, insecure and unprotected jobs do fight back.

Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS), which was established in 1971 and was the first community-based legal aid clinic in Ontario, has been fortunate enough to work with some of these workers in their struggle.

Since April 2011, PCLS and the workers it represented have recovered more than $1 million in unpaid wages, wrongful dismissal damages, and other employment entitlements.

To celebrate the $1 million milestone while also reflecting on the continuing work that must be done in the area of workers’ rights, PCLS will be hosting an event open to everyone on Saturday, February 1, 2014. PCLS administrators and students will be available for media interviews.

WHEN: Saturday, February 1, 2014, 1.30 to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Basement Auditorium, Toronto Parkdale Public Library, 1303 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON M6K 1L6

PCLS, which is funded by Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and Legal Aid Ontario, provides progressive legal services for marginalized individuals and communities, as well as clinical education for law students in a poverty law setting. Hundreds of Osgoode students have participated in the Poverty Law Intensive Program at PCLS since its founding 43 years ago.

A recent report, entitled “It’s More than Poverty,” prepared by the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research group, a joint university-community initiative funded by United Way Toronto, McMaster University, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council/Community University Research Alliances project, found that precarious employment is increasing.

Only 60% of GTA workers today have stable, secure jobs with benefits, and that is having harmful effects on individuals, families and community life.


York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York U’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York U is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York U’s 11 faculties and 27 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York U's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni. Media Contact: Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820, vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca