Tomorrow marks the start of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups’ annual Justice for Injured Workers Bike Ride (May 25-27), focusing this year on bringing greater public attention to Occupational Disease: The Other Workplace Injury. Follow the ride and show your support on #JusticeBikeRide. (Download press release: English | français )
Injured Workers Cycle 170km to Call for Justice from WSIB
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From May 25-27, the fourth annual Justice for Injured Workers Bike Ride is travelling to Northern Ontario to build solidarity with families and communities who have suffered losses due to occupational disease.
Breaking down stereotypes and calling for justice, injured workers and their supporters are cycling 170km from Elliot Lake to Massey to Sudbury. They will be linking the Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign with the McIntyre Powder Project and with miners who have suffered other occupational diseases. All of these groups are struggling with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) – an institution that currently seems set up to deny workers who are injured or made sick by their workplaces.
“Initiatives like the Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign and the McIntyre Powder Project show that people who have been injured or made ill on the job have had enough, and are coming together to end the crisis,” said rider and ONIWG Vice-President Peter Page.
Since 2009, the WSIB has cut benefits to injured workers by some $2 billion. The results of the harsh cuts are devastating, with almost 50% of injured workers with a permanent disability living at or near the poverty line.
“My Dad rode the highway between Massey and Elliot Lake every day to support his family,” said Janice Martell of the McIntyre Powder Project. “On May 26th, we ride for him, for the McIntyre Powder miners, and all workers who quietly suffer from occupational disease. They are invisible no more.”
“Workers trade their skills, time and sweat in return for wages and benefits,” said JP Mrochek, WSIB worker representative from the United Steelworkers Local 6500. “Limbs, lungs and life were never part of the bargain and never will be so when harm is done, the system must support the injured or ill workers and compensate accordingly.”
Please see the below for the full schedule and listing of events along the ride.
For more information, please contact:
Peter Page, ONIWG Vice-President – 905-745-1003
Route Schedule & Events:
- May 25, 1-4pm: Free Public Seminar: Occupational Disease in Mining and McIntyre Powder Research – Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre Theatre, 255 Hwy 108
- May 25, 7-9pm: Evening Reception – Welcome the cyclists and hear about the Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign and McIntyre Powder Project – Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre Theatre, 255 Hwy 108 – Information Tables & Memorial Display will be open 12-5 and 7-9pm
- May 26, 7am: Jim Hobbs Memorial Ride – Elliot Lake Miner’s Memorial Park, 325 Hwy108
- May 26, 1-3pm: Afternoon Reception to welcome the cyclists – Massey Arena, 455 Government Road
- May 27, 4pm: Free BBQ and Reception to welcome the cyclists – USW Hall, 66 Brady Street