On June 1st every year, injured workers and labour activists gather outside the Legislative Assembly at Queen’s Park in Toronto and in cities across the province to mark Injured Workers’ Day. We rally on this day to celebrate the gains made through united action, raise current concerns – and remind governments we cannot be ignored.
The day commemorates June 1st 1983 when over three thousand injured workers forced a government committee looking at major changes Ontario’s workers’ compensation system to conduct a public hearing on the steps of the Legislature.
Pressure by the Association of Injured Workers’ Groups (AIWG) had made the the Standing Committee eventually agree to set aside a day of hearings for injured workers to voice their concerns about the Weiler proposals, which included replacing the permanent disability pension with a wage loss system. They came in numbers too large for the Committee rooms, so at the suggestion of the AIWG the hearings were held outside on the lawns of the legislature.
The solidarity and activism of the injured worker movement during the 1983 June 1st event drew public and media attention to their objections to the government’s process of reform.
- Noiles, Willy (ONIWG). 2017 May 30. “June 1st is Injured Workers’ Day.” Rankand File.ca
- Bedard, Ella. 2015 Jun 1. “Injured Workers’ Day: Support Shouldn’t Come in Half-measures.” Rabble.ca
- Rebel Sage. “Justice for Injured Workers – June 1, 2015, Toronto” [4 Youtube video]
- Ontario Federation of Labour. Communications Dept. Injured Workers Day [photo albums and Youtube videos]
- Schwartz, Kristin. 2009. “The Long Road to Justice: Ontario’s Injured Workers and Injured Workers’ Day.” Our Times, 28(2): 16-19
- Injured Workers’ History Project. 2006. Injured Workers’ Day. Toronto: Bancroft Institute (IWHP bulletin, no. 1)
- Union of Injured Workers. 1985. “Now Is the Time!” Injured Workers Voice, May/June: 1-2
Workers’ Comp is a Right! Injured Workers Rally & March
Friday June 1st, 2018 11:00am Queen’s Park
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/180833029238226/
Injured workers are rising up. Refusing to be held down by the cutting edge of austerity, we are empowered to take back our compensation system. Between the province-wide Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign and the Real Healthcare campaign, we have organized across Ontario to force the Liberal government to respond to our demands. With Injured Workers’ Day coming just a few days before the provincial election, we have one more opportunity to show our collective strength and put all the Parties on notice. No matter who is elected on June 7th, injured workers will be there, standing up for our rights, and calling for dignity and respect.
So join us on June 1st, as we take to the streets. Accessibility options will be available so that those with mobility difficulties will be able to join the march.
Organized by the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) | @ONIWG | Twitter
Please also join us for other Injured Workers’ Day events:
May 31, 7pm – 9pm, Queen’s Park
Overnight Vigil led by the Women of Inspiration Injured Worker Group
Cultural showcase to celebrate the resilience of injured workers. Join us for an evening of music, poetry, storytelling, and satire. The 12th annual overnight vigil will follow the cultural event, to remind MPPs that injured workers cannot sleep at night due to pain and poverty, so how can our politicians?
June 1, 2pm – 4pm, OCAD U Auditorium – 100 McCaul Street, Room 190
Candidates Town Hall Meeting
We are inviting representatives from the Liberals, NDP, PCs, and Green, to a town hall meeting to answer our questions, and to tell us what they will commit to doing for injured workers. [see WCIAR election questionnaire]
Updated June 21, 2018