TORONTO, April 27, 2020 /CNW/ - Unifor is cautioning the Ontario government that it must consult with workers before proceeding with plans unveiled today in its framework for reopening the province's economy.
"The Ford government must listen to the concerns of our members on re-opening the economy in the same way it did with health care workers on premium pay," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "We have to get this restart of the economy right the first time and that means workers must have confidence in the government's return-to-work plans and its ability to protect their health."
Unifor has repeatedly urged the Premier to consult workers in its health and economic policies both before and during the pandemic.
The union also previously wrote to the Ford government urging the Premier to consult with Ontario workers on plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions on the economy. Specifically, Unifor cautioned the government that Ontario's economy already suffered from a number of complex problems that were exacerbated by the pandemic, including long-standing issues of social and economic inequality, lack of manufacturing capacity and investment in critical infrastructure, and insufficient labour standards.
"The Premier cannot proceed with re-opening workplaces before consulting workers on creating the safest conditions possible and that means revisiting many of the policies made before the pandemic," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor's Ontario Director. "Workers have made tremendous sacrifices to flatten the curve and continue to work under very difficult, risky and stressful circumstances. That alone has earned them a seat at the table."
Approximately 91 Unifor members across Canada have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to date, including 47 in Ontario.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
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