TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 1, 2013) - Against a backdrop of heightened tensions between injured workers and the WSIB, injured workers and their allies will gather at Queen's Park at 11:00 am today (June 1st) to demand a just workers' compensation system and call for accountability from the WSIB's senior administration.
WSIB President David Marshall is slated to receive a $400,000 bonus for meeting certain financial targets. To this end, Mr. Marshall has directed the WSIB to focus on cutting costs rather than protecting workers' rights. From 2009-2010, the WSIB reported a 50% increase in claims denials. From 2010-2011, the WSIB cut $631 million in benefit payments.
"The numbers don't lie; we know David Marshall's bonus is coming on the backs of injured workers," says Ontario Network of Injured Worker Groups' Karl Crevar. "He's getting a $400,000 top-up while injured workers are becoming homeless. The hypocrisy is stunning."
The WSIB's current austerity program contrasts sharply with the founding principles of the compensation system. In 1913, Chief Justice Sir William Meredith laid out the principles for a system that treats injured workers with dignity and respect. Injured workers continue to struggle towards these principles.
To mark the 30th anniversary of Injured Workers' Day, injured workers will unveil a Golden Axe, representing Mr. Marshall's extreme cuts. "The Golden Axe symbolizes Mr. Marshall's attack on injured workers, but we're also showing we won't be silent as he hacks at our system," says Crevar. "We've been fighting a long time, and we won't stop until we see a just compensation system."