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Ontario’s “Emergency Brake” will not stop continued COVID-19 disaster

Text reads Paid Sick Days, workers in the background one appears sick blowing her nose.
April 8, 2021 - 12:00 AM

Thursday, April 8, 2021

TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford’s announcement of yet another provincial State of Emergency lacks the commitment to mass vaccinations and paid sick days that are required to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

“We consistently hear that all options are on the table – but some key, life-saving measures that workers, doctors, and Boards of Health are asking for have still not been introduced,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Paid sick days save lives, and workers who can’t stay home need the vaccine rollout to move much faster to stop the spread in our workplaces and communities.”

Unifor first wrote to Premier Ford in March 2020 with a recommendation for emergency paid sick days to stop the spread of the pandemic. The Union continues to advocate for universal paid sick days to be enshrined in labour law in Ontario.  Visit the Paid Sick Days campaign website to add your name.

“Ontario’s workers have done as much as we can. We stayed home, we fought for and manufactured PPE’s, and we waited patiently for the vaccines to be available. We’re done waiting,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “Every MPP should put all of their efforts into implementing paid sick days now, and speeding up vaccine delivery, especially for workers who can’t work remotely.”

Unifor recommends the province urgently widen the scope of frontline and essential workers who are eligible to receive the vaccine, and then begin offering remote vaccination clinics at large industrial workplaces where the COVID-19 virus and even more deadly variants are taking hold.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information or to arrange phone, FaceTime or Skype interviews, please contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.