The following article by Peter Page, reprinted from “Justice for Injured Workers“, no. 5 (May. 2014), outlines why ONIWG is launching this action:
Having been involved in the injured worker movement for over ten years, nine years as the President of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG), I am appalled by the current government’s attack upon injured workers in this great province of Ontario.
Over the last twenty years government has been cutting benefits to injured workers, changing policy in an effort to address the unfunded liability of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB), which only became a problem after the Mike Harris Conservatives froze employer premium rates. Currently under the direction of I. David Marshall, President of the WSIB and Elizabeth Witmer, the Chair of the WSIB, we have seen unprecedented attacks upon injured workers’ benefits. Frankly we feel they are going against injured workers’ human rights under the current Compensation Act. The policy changes are aimed at worker benefits pure and simple…
This approach is fundamentally wrong. If a worker is injured at work, she or he should be compensated for any resulting disability, even if that worker is older or more vulnerable to disability for other reasons. Indeed these workers need our protection the most!
ONIWG has asked me to take on a campaign to raise money for legal challenges towards the WSIB and government, as ONIWG feels they are systematically dismantling our 100 year old system and attacking injured workers’ benefits. This has to stop! Our system should remain within the public realm and at arm’s length from government…
This is our compensation system! Not an easy way out for employers who don’t want to pay for the injuries and deaths occurring in their workplaces. We gave up our right to sue in exchange for fair and timely compensation. Employers are reneging on this historic compromise!
This is why ONIWG has launched a campaign to raise money for a legal defence fund and we ask that injured workers and like-minded people donate what they can to achieve this goal. We are also asking injured workers to come forward and tell their stories. That is why ONIWG is calling out to all injured workers, Unions, legal clinics and like-minded activists to help raise money for this “Legal Defence Fund.”
Thanking you in advance for your support.