For injured workers the reality is clear, the WSIB in Ontario is broken and the loss and pain is on the backs of injured workers.
So every June 1, injured workers and their allies rally at Queen’s Park for Injured Workers Day, to highlight the flaws of the compensation system and the fight we need to continue to bring to the Legislature and the Ministry of Labour.
With just a few days before the election, the rally and march is an opportunity to make a stand, not only for injured workers but for all workers and people concerned about social and economic justice, that we have had enough of austerity and cuts. The rally on June 1, will send a message that no matter who gets elected, the age of austerity is over.
We can be sure that if Doug Ford’s Conservative Party is elected, privatization of the workers’ compensation system will be on his agenda – just as he will push for privatization across the board. We know that if this happens, it is low-income, vulnerable, and marginalized people who will suffer. So the Injured Workers’ Day rally is part of the fightback. We will stand up and resist, and take back our compensation system
On the eve of June 1, the Women of Inspiration, a group which offers support, knowledge transfer, education and outreach to Women Injured at Work, gathers on the lawn of Queen’s Park for “Sleepless in Queen’s Park.” This overnight vigil provides a safe space for injured workers to share poetry and song, and to tell stories of their battles for fair compensation because, if “injured workers can’t sleep; how can their elected representatives?”
On the following day of June 1 at 11:00am, injured workers and advocates join the Women of Inspiration at Queen’s Park to rally for Injured Worker’s Day. Joined by labour and community allies, injured workers from across Ontario will take to the streets, marching on the Ministry of Labour, calling on the government to deliver fairness from the workers’ compensation system.
In its 35th year, the theme for this year’s Injured Workers Day is driven by the success and hard work of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG). ONIWG is an umbrella organization of injured worker groups in communities spread throughout the province, campaigning on the theme that Workers’ Comp is a Right. This campaign is demanding the compensation system return to its roots as a system that provides support and support and care for workers who have suffered injuries or illnesses on the job. The key campaign demands for a system that protects everyone are:
1. No cuts based on phantom jobs
2. Listen to injured workers’ treating healthcare professionals
3. Stop cutting benefits based on pre-existing conditions
Through province-wide education and action on these issues, injured workers have successfully pushed their demands onto the political radar. We have collected thousands of petition signatures supporting the campaign demands, and heard MPPs read out the petition dozens of times in the Legislature. We have seen the NDP include injured worker issues in its platform – the first time since 1990 that a political Party has talked explicitly about injured workers. We have seen new injured worker groups form in communities where they did not previously exist.
So we are building. And after years of austerity and cuts, the compensation system is broken and the time is now to pressure those in power to commit to fundamental changes to restore justice. Join us.
For information on:
“Sleepless in Queen’s Park” contact firstname.lastname@example.org
June 1st rally and march, contact www.injuredworkersonline.org
Workers’ Comp is a Right, contact email@example.com , @ONIWG