OFL gravely concerned that new COVID-19 restrictions fall short on protections for workers

OFL gravely concerned that new COVID-19 restrictions fall short on protections for workers

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TORONTO, April 16, 2021 (News) — The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is gravely concerned that new COVID-19 restrictions do not include additional protections to keep workers safe. Workers, public health officials, and medical experts have repeatedly urged Ford’s Conservative government to implement policies like paid sick days to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite case numbers in the province reaching an all-time high, Ford continues to announce half-measures and refuses to implement sensible solutions.

“The Ford government’s continuous refusal to put in place the protections that workers need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is infuriating,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “Doug Ford’s handling of this pandemic has been an abject failure and absolute disaster. It is far past time for this government to introduce paid sick days, guarantee paid time off for vaccinations, and ensure that all front-line workers have priority access to vaccines.”

The harrowing modelling data presented today, and foreshadowed weeks ago, demonstrated an urgent need for bold action. Instead, the restrictions announced today will continue to put front-line workers at the greatest risk without any commitment that all front-line workers will have priority vaccine access.

Among the new measures outlined today, Ford announced increased fines and policing powers. The OFL has cautioned against increased fines and policing measures in the past cautioning that they often result in the further targeting of marginalized communities, instead of focusing on the support people need to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Ontarians are tired of hearing that everything is on the table to only receive scraps,” said Coates. “It’s time for Ford to step up and provide workers with the protections they need to curb this devastating third wave. Doug Ford should immediately step down, and let capable leaders take it from here, he’s in over his head. Enough is enough.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa PalermoDirector of CommunicationsOntario Federation of Labourmpalermo@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

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