The first of this year’s May pickets drew a good number, with a solidarity delegation from the Steelworkers and OPSEU joining ONIWG and the Toronto injured workers’ groups and representatives. And more unions will join us next week. One of the OPSEU delegates was Greg Snyder, who also brought greetings from the Thunder Bay and District injured worker group.
The crowd was outraged at the proposed new policies by the WSIB brass to cut or eliminate compensation for “pre-existing conditions” and age. Medical literature suggests that the spine begins the “aging process” between 20 to 25 years of age. In the past, this was no impediment to compensation. An “aging spine” can still do excellent work and cause no pain. But from now on, does this mean anyone over 20 or 25 could potentially see their compensation denied or reduced???
Each speaker was prompted to end with a slogan. Some of these were: “No justice, no peace” “No more cap in hand” “Justice for injured workers” “Fire Marshall, hire injured workers”. These slogans give a good sense of the sentiment at the pickets.
The information pickets will continue next Friday May 16 and May 23d and will lead to the overnight vigil at Queen’s Park on Saturday May 31 and June 1, Injured Workers’ day. We all undertook to raise these issues in the election campaign and through the media.