ONTARIO UNIONS SAY, “ONTARIO IS IN CRISIS. THE FORD GOVERNMENT MUST ACT NOW.”

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Ontario Federation of Labour News Release

TORONTO – Ontario workers have come together to sound the alarm and issue an emergency appeal for the Ford government to take action to address the Omicron crisis.

A joint statement endorsed by over 30 organizations outlines six demands that frontline workers in health care, long-term care, education, and other sectors urgently need. The demands include:

  • Recall the legislature for an emergency session
  • Repeal Bills 124 and 195
  • Legislate a minimum of 10 permanent, employer-paid sick days
  • Hold an emergency summit of all stakeholders in the health care system
  • Require health care and educational institutions to provide airborne precautions
  • Launch an emergency public health campaign

“Ontario is continuing to face its worst public health crisis since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “Our health care system remains in crisis, schools are still not equipped to protect students and education workers, and most Ontarians still do not have adequate paid sick days. This crisis is far from over. We need urgent action now.”

Coates joined labour leaders from the Ontario Nurses’ Association, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and CUPE Ontario to highlight the urgent need for action on the issues outlined in the statement, with support from Leader of the Official Opposition, Andrea Horwath (NDP).

“Our province was in crisis before the Omicron surge, and things have only gotten worse,” Coates added. “This government has continued to chronically underfund public services, and repeatedly failed people in this province. Their half-measures and empty rhetoric have only harmed Ontarians. It is far past time for real and meaningful action.”

Ontario workers plan to keep up the pressure for urgent action on the demands released today. On Saturday, January 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST, the Ontario Federation of Labour is hosting a Phone Zap to urge Ford’s Conservative government to act on workers’ demands.

Read the full joint statement here.

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.