NIAGARA FALLS – NDP Workplace Health and Safety critic Wayne Gates has released a statement in response to the Ford government’s announcement of an enforcement ‘blitz’ to inspect workplaces and big box stores:
“Workers that still have to go into the workplace during this pandemic have the right to know their workplace is COVID-safe. Increasing inspections is an important step, but this will only be effective if there are consequences for employers that put workers at risk. As reported by the Toronto Star, many thousands of concerns registered by workers and tens of thousands of inspections have led to only one employer facing a penalty — a shameful record that suggests this government is taking the side of big employers, and leaving everyday working folks to pay the price.
Doug Ford is still refusing to spend the money to do the things we know will keep workers and their families safe, including paid sick days and on-site workplace COVID-19 testing.
Workers feel they have no choice but to go to work sick if the only alternative is not being able to put food on the table. Some health care workers are forced to quarantine without pay. Folks from long-term care workers to manufacturing staff are going to work with symptoms, because there is no alternative.
If Doug Ford and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton were serious about protecting workers in the workplace then they would immediately announce paid sick days and on-site workplace testing.”