February 01, 2014 07:00 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 1, 2014) -
Migrant farmworkers do some of the most dangerous work in Ontario yet are heavily precluded from obtaining their rights to healthcare and workers' compensation. This special event will hear from injured migrant workers who have taken a stand to say no one is disposable.
"With limited exceptions, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) 'disposes' of injured migrant workers to a life of poverty and ill health even though they were injured as a result of their labour in Ontario," says Jessica Ponting, Community Legal Worker with IAVGO Community Legal Clinic. "An event like this is vital because the practices of the WSIB largely prevent migrant workers from speaking out."
When a migrant worker gets injured on the job, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has the authority to cover accommodation expenses for them to stay in Ontario for healthcare but seldom uses it. Instead, migrant workers are sent home at the behest of their employers, often immediately following an injury. When migrant workers return to their home country, the WSIB tells even seriously injured migrants to get a suitable job in Ontario and their compensation is cut when it is assumed they cannot comply. This practice is called "deeming".
The organizations involved in this event are calling for the WSIB to give injured migrant workers the choice and means to stay in Ontario for health care and end "deeming" of workers who are abroad.
IAVGO Community Legal ClinicJessica Ponting(647) 401-9611
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