|WATERLOO – NDP MPPs Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) and Catherine Fife (Waterloo) are urging Doug Ford to put in place measures to protect workers who are being exposed to COVID-19 at workplaces in the region, with more outbreaks being reported in factories and food processing plants.
“Essential workers who don’t have the option to stay home have a right to know their workplace is safe, and everything is being done to protect them,” said Lindo.
“Increasing inspections is a necessary step, but this will only be effective if there are consequences for employers that put workers at risk including big fines for those who fail to comply. If we don’t do more to protect workers, we’ll continue to see COVID-19 surging in our region.”
There have been 88 cases so far at Conestoga Meats in Breslau, and more cases have been identified at the Toyota plant in Cambridge although the numbers have not been made public.
Fife says the Ford government needs to publicly disclose the names and locations of all workplaces in the province with COVID-19 outbreaks.
“Unless Ford takes action at a provincial level to reveal the names of workplaces with outbreaks we will put the lives of more workers and their families at risk, and it increases the risk of community spread,” said Fife.
Lindo and Fife are calling for more measures to be put in place that public health experts have said will be critical to reduce the spread of this deadly virus.
“Doug Ford still refuses 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, alongside strictly-enforced inspections,” said Fife. “Many workers in our region are being left with the impossible choice of going into work sick or not having enough money to put food on the table. We need more transparency on outbreaks, paid sick days and ramped up testing of workplaces right now if we are to keep essential workers safe and reduce transmission in our community.”