TORONTO — The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG) will be holding its Annual Injured Workers Day rally online today because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rally is usually held at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
“Ontario’s Health and Safety and Workers Compensation systems are broken, but we know what is needed to fix the system. It is time for those in power to learn and to listen,” said Janet Paterson, president of the ONIWG, in a statement.
The rally will be live-streamed on YouTube and Crowdcast. The theme is #ProtectUs. Paterson said in the statement that workers must be protected from dangers on the job, and those who do get sick or injured must have their incomes protected without hassle or delay.
“We have workers in this province putting themselves at risk of illness or even death in order to provide essential goods and services and keep this province running and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is refusing to promise that workers who get sick will be covered,” said Paterson.
The ONIWG said WSIB has opted to adjudicate every instance of Coronavirus in the workplace on a case-by-case basis, leading to backlogs.
“We call these workers heroes, while the WSIB is ignoring or rejecting their claims. Wouldn’t it make common sense to presume that an extremely infectious disease was contracted in their frontline workplace?” asked Willy Noiles, ONIWG’s executive vice-president.
Stream information can be located at www.injuredworkersonline.org.