Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

November 24, 2010 12:45 ET

OFL: Ryan Calls For End to Killing and Maiming of Workers

HUNDREDS OF ACTIVISTS LAY PLANS TO STOP THE CARNAGE IN ONTARIO WORKPLACES

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2010) - More than 500 union activists will gather tomorrow, Thurs. Nov. 25, at the downtown Sheraton Centre, for a pivotal three-day Health & Safety and Workers' Compensation conference designed to stop bad employers from killing and maiming more workers.

"We have one objective only and that is to do whatever it takes to secure the vital government recommendations needed for injured, and all workers, and to single out rotten employers who continue to stand in the way of safe workplaces," says OFL President Sid Ryan.

Last year, there were 478 fatality claims and 253,761 injuries and disease claims. "Let's never get used to these numbers. They're a total catastrophe," says Ryan.

Last month, the OFL's Kill a Worker, Go to Jail campaign scored a huge victory when C-45 charges were announced against Metron Construction and the individuals responsible for the Christmas Eve deaths of four migrant workers. If found guilty, owner Joel Swartz and others can receive life sentences of up to 20 years.

"That's only the first step," says Ryan. "We're ready to roll out this campaign across the province – into every workplace and every community – to confront the employers on their own turf and in a way they'll finally understand."

There are other looming and urgent issues associated with the timing of this conference.

The final recommendations of Ontario's Expert Advisory Panel on prevention and enforcement systems – the most comprehensive review in 30 years – will be released next month; a one-year funding review of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board system is underway, and its recommendations will have major consequences for current and future workers.

Organized by the OFL and the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups, the conference features pre-eminent speakers and newsmakers, including: Tony Dean, Chair of Ontario's Expert Advisory Panel; Prof. Harry Arthurs, Chair of the WSIB's Funding Review; Terry Ison, Professor Emeritus, Osgoode Hall Law School; Hugh Mackenzie, Economist and Researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Linda McQuaig, journalist and author, and others.

A detailed three-day agenda is available at www.ofl.ca.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Sid Ryan
    President
    416.209.0066 (mobile)
    or
    Ontario Federation of Labour
    Lynn Simmons
    Communications Director
    416.668.7480 (mobile)
    www.ofl.ca