QUEEN'S PARK - Leader of the Official Opposition Marit Stiles, NDP Labour Critic Jamie West (Sudbury) and NDP’s WSIB and Injured Workers Critic Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay--Superior North) jointly released the following statement to mark the Workers' Day of Mourning:
"On this Workers’ Day of Mourning, we join together to remember and honour the workers who have lost their lives or been injured on the job. We extend our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones, who carry the burden of their loss every day. We must acknowledge the devastating impact that unsafe working conditions can have.
Just this week, a company was fined $120,000 for failing to follow safety protocols, highlighting the ongoing need for stronger workplace safety measures and enforcement. Just two weeks ago, an industrial accident claimed the life of a worker at a metal fabrication plant.
As the Official Opposition, we are committed to strengthening workplace protections and enforcement measures. We will hold the government accountable for negligence or disregarding workers' rights and safety. And we know that unionized workplaces are safer workplaces – so we will not stop fighting to make it easier for workers to join a union. We are also committed to restoring the WSIB to its original purpose so that financial supports are there for people harmed in the course of their work.”
The Ontario NDP also acknowledges that health and safety isn’t only from the neck down – employers must do more to protect workers’ mental health, and the government must do its part to expand access to mental health services.
Let us use this day to recommit ourselves to the fight for justice and dignity for all workers. We cannot let any more lives be lost or ruined due to preventable accidents or exploitative practices.”