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Reliance ‘cruel’ to cut locked out workers’ disability benefits

Worker holding a 'locked out' sign in front of a van crossing a picket line
May 26, 2021 - 12:00 AM

TORONTO—Locked out Reliance Home Comfort workers on Short- and Long-Term Disability across Ontario have been cut off from their extended health and dental benefits, says Unifor.

“Reliance is sending their customers a message: the owners will be as cruel as it takes to force a deal on their workers," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Customers aren't sheep. If they think Reliance is a ruthless corporation obsessed with profit at any cost, they won't hesitate to go elsewhere."

More than 800 members of Unifor Local 1999 have been locked out by Reliance Home Comfort since May 13, 2021. Unifor learned this week that the company has unilaterally cancelled the extended benefits of workers on leave due to illness or injury on Short- and Long-Term Disability.

"Targeting the most vulnerable in our communities is a particularly ruthless tactic that I haven't seen in my whole career," said Dan Valente, Unifor National Representative and lead negotiator. "It should be an eye-opener to every single Reliance customer. This company is not what you thought it was."

During the lock-out, Reliance has been relying on scab labour with questionable credentials, says Unifor.

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 media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).