Jenny Zhou received the Eddie Cauchi’s award for injured worker activism at the Workers Health and Safety Centre Awards Banquet on November 4th. We congratulate Jenny and are pleased to share her speech:
“Greetings Ladies and Gentleman Brothers and Sisters, I would like to share my story with you.
I was a knitting machine operator in a factory making cloth for our clothes. My injury is not by accident – it is by hard work. I removed more than 100 pounds of products from machines at work everyday. Twelve years ago I injured my lower back and both of my arms. After two surgeries, my doctor told WSIB I cannot go back to work.
But the WSIB is deeming me. They are pretending l can do a job as greeter. It is work in the department store. standing at front door greeting customers. After retraining I found in big Toronto just Walmart and Costco have this kind job and they always give the job to their own workers who are injured. I cannot find a job as greeter. But the WSIB is pretending l have a job as greeter. They cut my benefits. Suddenly l have no money to pay for my mortgage. l sold my house and now rent a small room living in a basement. l cannot sleep because l have lots pain on my body and no money to pay for my treatment, and because l worry about my future everyday.
Nine years ago I got legal help from Injured Workers Consultants and they introduced me to meetings of our injured workers groups. I love our group. l call it my big family. ln our group all Brothers and Sisters support each other. We do the team work to fight for our rights. Starting from that time l never never feel alone.
Last year l joined the Injured Workers Speakers School. l learned about our Compensation history. 100 years ago a great man, named William Meredith, a judge, built a workers’ compensation law. His important ideas are:
Injury at work place is no-fault
Compensation as long as disability lasts
No half measures – full justice for injured workers
Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters. Do you know how many problems the WSIB made for our injured workers? How many troubles the WSIB made for our injured workers? There is not only me. In our province most injured workers after retraining cannot find a job. But the WSIB is pretending they have a job. It cut their benefits. They are living in poverty. Ladies and Gentleman, Brothers and Sisters. Deeming means pretending. It goes against the Meredith Principles. It is a half measure for our injured workers. WSIB must stop this deeming policy. Give back our injured workers full justice.
Thanks for choosing me for this award.
I will continue my fight for all of our injured Workers !
Thank you ! Thank you so much ! “