The arrival of Justice Bike Riders Richard Hudon & Peter Page Monday at the steps of the Legislative assembly kicked off the 32nd Injured Workers Day rally and march. With $2.3 billion cut from injured workers’ benefits over the last 5 years, speakers addressed the need for united action.
See video coverage (by Rebel Sage) of those leading the charge for a fair and just workers’ compensation system: Nancy Hutchison (Ontario Federation of Labour), Eugene leFrançois (Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups), John Clarke (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty), and Karl Crevar (Canadian Injured Workers’ Alliance, ONIWG), and Jimmy Velgakis (an injured worker on the 22nd day of his hunger strike) with legal representative Marion Endicott.
A march down University Avenue led the rally to the Ministry of Labour and a performance by the Justice Singers. Minister Kevin Flynn came out to address the rally about the recently introduced legislation (Bill 109), his talks with ONIWG on the 72-month lockin that had persuaded him to give the issue further consideration, and his renewed pledge to work for full indexation of partial disability benefits. Cindy Forester (NDP – Labour critic) responded, followed by Justice 4 Migrant Workers. Long-time injured worker activist Karl Crevar delivered the rally’s message for Queen’s Park: “We will not back down!”
For more on the day’s events:
- “Justice for Injured Workers march in solidarity – June 1, 2015 Toronto” (video)
- Bedard, Ella. 2015 Jun 1. “Injured Workers’ Day: Support Shouldn’t Come in Half-measures.” Rabble.ca
- Mojtehedzadeh, Sara. 2015 Jun 1. “Injured Workers Rally for Better Benefits.” Toronto Star
- (new) Duff, Joel. 2015 Jun 1. “Injured Workers Day photo album.” OFL Facebook