Until 1971, Pier 21, known as the gateway to Canada, was the primary point of entry for over one million immigrants and refugees from Europe and elsewhere, as well as the departure point for half-a-million Canadian troops during World War Two. The city also served as the return point for a steady stream of wounded soldiers returning on hospital ships.
It was in this atmosphere, representatives of the major unions representing Workers’ Compensation workers in Canada came together to act upon systemic concerns. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represent Workers’ Compensation employees in Canada’s ten provinces and three territories.
Of particular interest to the group is the need to join injured workers in their fight for legislative fairness.
The group is calling upon each province to mirror the North West Territories by implementing workplace injury coverage for all of Canada’s workers.
CUPE 1750 President Harry Goslin of Ontario said, “The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has fallen behind the rest of Canada with the least amount of workplaces covered. Thirty (30) per cent of the workforce representing approximately two million workers is not covered under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act (WSIA) making them the most vulnerable. Private day cares, private health care practices, banks, trusts and insurance companies are among the employers who are exempt from the Ontario WSIB, leaving those workers unprotected.”
Nova Scotia Government General Employees WCB Union President Lloyd Samson and host of the event said, “Every worker who suffers a workplace injury should have the right to apply for compensation through their Provincial Compensation Board.”
Sandra Wright, President of the Compensation Employees Union/NUPGE said, “Injury coverage should be expanded to cover all workers, with few exceptions, in order to end the suffering for millions of workers who are not covered now.”
The Workers’ Compensation Union Coalition (WCUC) is determined to improve the system by establishing minimum conditions for a comprehensive and fair workers’ compensation system that fairly recognizes the historic compromise, where workers gained the right to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault, in return for giving up the right to sue their employers.
For further information, please contact WCUC at:
Sandra Wright 604-278-4050 www.ceu.bc.ca
Harry Goslin 905-676-0030 www.oceu.ca