ADVISORY: Injured Workers in Crisis Demand to Know Why WSIB Is Gifting $2 Billion to Employers

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 30, 2016) - Coming on the heels of a series of exposés about the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board's (WSIB) mistreatment of injured workers, the Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups (ONIWG) and the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) will rally on June 1st to challenge the most recent scandal involving the compensation board: a $2 billion per year gift from the WSIB to employers that comes at the same time as injured workers are being subjected to massive benefit cuts and forced into poverty.

This gift to employers will come in the form of lowered premium rates, which the WSIB recently boasted it intends to introduce -- a 45% reduction in rates which will result in over $2 billion dollars a year in the pockets of employers. The gift comes in the midst of an aggressive austerity agenda, where between 2011 and 2015, the WSIB cut some $7 billion from its future costs -- with the cost savings coming largely from slashing benefits to injured workers.

Outraged by this, injured workers will hold an overnight vigil at Queen's Park on May 31st to make the point that if injured workers can't sleep due to pain and poverty, how can our politicians? Organized by the Women of Inspiration Injured Worker Group, the vigil will involve a cultural gathering of poetry, song, storytelling, and satire.

The next day, ONIWG and allies will take to the streets, marching from Queen's Park to the Ministry of Labour to demand the WSIB explain why it is showering employers with billions of dollars, while simultaneously treating injured workers -- the very people the system is designed to protect -- with callousness and hostility. Participants intend to ask the Minister of Labour directly what he plans to do about this injustice.

WHAT: Overnight vigil, followed by rally and march

WHEN: Overnight vigil Tuesday May 31 st at 7:00pm; Rally and march Wednesday June 1 st at 12:00pm

WHERE: Queen's Park, Toronto

WHY: After years of benefit cuts, the WSIB is adding insult to injury by giving employers a $2 billion/year gift

Contact Information:

For further information, please contact:
Catherine Fenech


David Newberry/Aidan Macdonald