As an injured worker advocate, I see many workers in economic vulnerability and in precarious and unsafe working conditions. I see workers who think of their workplace injuries every day, who think about “what if the factory actually kept to their safety policies”, I see workers who struggle through the long term effects of a workplace injury.
Although health and safety laws cannot solely protect workers in a capitalist/profit oriented workplace, health and safety laws contribute immensely in protecting workers, especially those who are already in precarious life circumstances and workplaces. However, health and safety laws are not effective, if they are not enforced. Further, employers actively ignore or break safety laws. Although, I know this through my work and see it on a daily basis, the Auditor General’s 2019 report released yesterday (section 3.07) further points that employers need to step up with protecting their workers in the workplace. Improvements also need to be made to the Ministry of Labour’s investigation procedures.
Come out to our December 9th rally at 11 a.m. and ask Premier Ford enact section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and pass Bill 119, The Respecting Injured Workers Act. If you can’t join the rally, email Premier Ford, the Minister of Labour and your local MPP (see form) demanding that they call a vote on Bill 119, legislation which would end the practice of “deeming” or “phantom jobs” in which the WSIB pretends a worker has a job that they do not, and cuts or eliminates their benefits. Tell Premier Ford to end injured worker poverty!
The Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) is so happy to have OPSEU, CUPE Ontario, Decent Work and Health Network, Health Providers Against Poverty, Oakville and District Labour Council (ODLC) and the United Steelworkers endorsing and attending Monday’s event. Stand together on Monday to send a message to #FIXITNOW #WorkersCompIsARight
- Ontario. Office of the Auditor General. 2019 Dec. Annual Report 2019: Section 3.07 Health and Safety in the Workplace. | News Release
- Mojtehedzadeh, Sarah. 2019 Dec. 4. “Employers keep breaking safety laws – and government enforcement isn’t stopping them, auditor general finds.” Toronto Star
- Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups. 2019 May. Phantom Jobs & Empty Pockets: What Really Happens to Workers With Work Acquired Disabilities (the poverty-creating effects of deeming)
- Feed Ontario. 2019 Dec. Hunger Report 2019 (poverty and high food bank use by households relying on workers’ compensation and social assistance)