Report: Barrie Injured Workers Hold Speak-Out —

May 17, the Barrie District Injured Workers’ Group hosted a “Speak-Out on Matters of Concern in the Ontario Election.”

The meeting was introduced by Christine Nugent, co-ordinator of the Barrie District Injured Workers’ Group, followed by Dianne Baddeley, Vice-President Central Region of Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) to explain the importance of ONIWG’s work to end the marginalization of injured workers.

Peter Page, Executive Vice President of ONIWG, highlighted his organization’s campaign to see that workers’ compensation is enshrined as a right and that the underhanded methods used to unjustly deprive injured workers of their just compensation are ended. Peter is now in Northern Ontario taking part in the 2018 Justice Bike Ride.

Rolf Gerstenberger, past President of USW Local 1005 of the Stelco steelworkers in Hamilton recalled the experience of dealing with fraudulent bankruptcies at Stelco/U.S. Steel. He said that the workers, by regularly discussing the problems they faced, always kept their calm so that they could find solutions despite all the difficulties and pressure they faced.

Denis Nugent and Christina Chase-Nugent, teachers in the Simcoe County School Board spoke of the critical situation facing those working with at-risk and special needs youth. They described a situation in which the anti-social offensive has created a severe crisis for these youth who cannot even have their basic needs met, let alone be in any shape to absorb what they are being taught.

Anne Ritchie-Nahuis, a local milk farmer, and Elizabeth Brass Elson an Aboriginal resource technician, presented their over 20 year battle to keep the pristine water of the Alliston Aquifer which runs through Simcoe County, from being destroyed by corporations and governments.

Representatives of the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO) spoke about their investigation into employment standards, which despite being “reformed” by the provincial government, continue to allow the violation of workers’ rights.

(Ontario Political Forum)