Day of Mourning – A Message from Your Union

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April 28, 2021

April 28 marks the National Day of Mourning

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Captioning included in video as well

This year’s Day of Mourning is especially heartbreaking for many.

Thousands of Ontarians are dead from COVID-19, and some of those deaths are a direct result of exposure in the workplace.

At our local union, we’ve mourned the loss of five members who’ve died over the last year as a result of COVID-19. Many more members have contracted the virus and some still suffer from its lingering effects.

The jobs of our members at UFCW Locals 175 and 633 cannot be done from home. Their jobs are crucial to our food and manufacturing sectors, to our healthcare system, to our retail grocery stores and pharmacies, and more.

Our government likes to tell us how important those workers are, and how much they admire their sacrifice. But it’s all just lip service. If we’d had legislated paid sick days at the beginning of this, there’s no doubt that many lives would have been saved. Paid sick days would mean not having to decide between going to work ill or getting paid… a choice that seems to be lost on Doug Ford.

Because the PCs voted against paid sick days.

Where are the actions to back up their words of admiration? Where are the actions to protect working people? We need our government:

  • To enact paid sick days;
  • Ensure presumptive WSIB coverage for anyone who contracts COVID-19 at work, and;
  • To fund our long-term healthcare system so that nurses and PSWs don’t have to work short. So they don’t have to work without proper PPE. So they don’t have to sacrifice quality of care for the clients they care for because there’s just no other way.

So, as we commemorate the Day of Mourning, we must remember when the next provincial election comes around the inaction and indifference of the Ontario government through this pandemic. We need to use our votes to elect candidates who will do better to serve the memory of those lives lost and advocate to protect future generations of workers.

Mourn for the Dead. Fight for the Living.