40 years ago, CUPE members played a major role in the creation of the Day of Mourning, a day to remember those who lost their lives or fell sick on the job and recommit to preventing such tragedies from ever happening again. But as far as we’ve come, the work is not nearly over.
Just last year, we lost three members in this province alone. Today, we remember them.
- Antonio Gaerlan, a member of Local 145 who worked at William Osler Health Centre
- Debbie Korhonen-Barrette, a member of Local 3440 who worked at Community Living Kirkland Lake
- Mark Dennis, a member of Local 1334 who worked at Guelph University
And today we recognize that we’re still under the cloud of COVID. Members on our frontlines are still facing an ongoing pandemic without the permanent and sufficient sick days they deserve, and the working conditions they need, in order to safely deliver the services people depend on.
We’re now in a 6th wave, where health-care workers are contracting COVID-19 at such high rates that hospitals are cancelling surgeries and redeploying nurses who are working overtime and being burned out.
Meanwhile, the Ford Conservatives are doing little. They haven’t ended the practice of deeming injured workers able to work when they’re not. They haven’t stopped fighting victims of occupational disease. They haven’t significantly raised compensation for injured workers. And they’ve astonishingly decided to transfer billions in WSIB surpluses to corporations instead of workers.
After two years of calling workers heroes, it’s long past time to treat them like the heroes they are. It’s long past time to do everything necessary to protect workers and to ensure no one gets sick or worse on the job.
On this Day of Mourning, and always, CUPE Ontario’s 280,000 members will commit to fighting in the streets and sending a message at the ballot box to make this a reality.
Find a local event here: https://t.co/UoJ8FyLu14