Report: Injured Workers Affirm “Workers’ Comp Is a Right!” —

June 1. A spirited action on Injured Workers’ Day took place in Windsor in front of the offices of the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB). The action was part of the province-wide Injured Workers’ Day and the campaign for workers’ compensation to be guaranteed for all workers as a right.

Injured workers are some of the most vulnerable in society. The workers’ compensation system, paid into by employers, is supposed to ensure they can live in dignity despite being injured. Instead, more and more governments treat them as a cost to be reduced or eliminated. This is unjust and working people across the country do not accept this treatment of their fellow workers. This year’s action in Windsor also commemorated the late Rolly Marentette, a longtime activist for workers’ health and safety in Windsor who always called on working people to speak for themselves especially in exercise of their right to refuse unsafe work and in defending injured workers against unjust treatment by government agencies such as the WSIB.

Laura Chesnik attended the event as she has each year representing her union, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. ETFO has placed a great deal of emphasis in the last two years on bringing attention to health and safety concerns in education. On the questions of violence, extreme heat and noise levels in the schools, elementary teachers are speaking out to demand safe and healthy working conditions in order to do their duty to their students and prevent workplace injuries.