TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2013) - Following a year of unprecedented cuts and attacks on the integrity of Ontario's workers' compensation system, injured workers will rally outside the Ontario Ministry of Labour at 11:00 this morning for their 22nd annual Christmas Demonstration.
With the Minister of Labour expected to be present, injured workers will use the opportunity to demand an end the WSIB's single-minded drive to cut its costs on the backs of injured workers. The holiday season is particularly difficult for injured workers, as they're continually reminded of the downward spiral they've been forced into due to lack of support from the compensation system.
"This year we saw injured workers lose their homes and families because of the cuts," says Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups (ONIWG) President Michele McSweeney. "We saw an injured worker and his MPP driven to hunger strike out of desperation and frustration. This is not what a workers' compensation system is supposed to look like, and someone needs to be held accountable."
The WSIB's current austerity agenda contrasts sharply with compensation system's founding principles. Exactly 100 years ago, Sir William Meredith laid out the principles for a system that treats injured workers with dignity and respect. Injured workers continue to struggle towards these principles.
"Meredith left us with the pillars of a just system," says McSweeney. "But the more we veer away from the principles, the more these pillars become cracked. It's up to us to restore them, and we call on the Minister to help us get the system back on track."