On the day the Ontario legislature reconvened, Unifor young workers hosted a phone zap for paid sick days.
After hearing about Unifor's demands for paid sick days, participants took time to call their Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP), the premier and various ministers. Together, workshop participants made dozens of calls demanding that the government legislate mandatory paid sick days without further delay.
Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, shared how Unifor has been calling for paid sick days since the very start of the pandemic, "Doug Ford has ignored workers’ calls for paid sick days for a year now, but we continue to grow momentum. Our fight is going to carry on until we win paid sick days for all."
While the Ford government has been referring to the Canada Sickness Benefit as an excuse to refuse workers paid sick days, the CSRB is a temporary measure with many restrictions, and does not pay workers immediately.
Paid sick days, like most labour laws, should be introduced by the provincial government. The Decent Work and Health Network outlines important principles for effective paid sick days: they must be universal, fully paid, adequate, seamlessly accessible and permanent.
Unifor supports Bill 239 which, if adopted, would immediately implement seven permanent paid sick days and 14 additional paid sick days in the case of a public health emergency.
The bill was presented by the Ontario NDP and the party aimed to seek unanimous consent in the legislature on the first day the MPPs returned. All parties supported the resolution, but the PC government blocked its adoption, further delaying much-needed protections for workers.
Unifor members are encouraged to phone their PC MPPs, ministers and the premier to reiterate the importance of legislating paid sick days now.
Phone zaps are easy actions to organize! Unifor Young Workers are invited to hold phone zaps for their committees, local unions or for a group of co-workers. For help and materials, contact firstname.lastname@example.org