Sombre crowd at Day of Mourning Ceremony

A sombre crowd gathered at the Workers' Memorial on Thursday, April 28 to remember workers killed on the job. 
Many of the same faces have been marking this date together for years. In a small sign of hope for better days, the crowd grows each year. Today, it includes politicians from every party and every level of government. This is new. Maybe it means the message of safety is gaining traction. Maybe it means protections for people at work are becoming a higher priority. 
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Health and Safety Awards Night

About 140 people attended our annual Health & Safety Dinner on November 18th. As Chair of the Waterloo Regional Labour Council's Health, Safety, and WSIB Committee, I was pleased to host the evening and to see the award for Health & Safety Activist of the Year go to Unifor 1106 member Shawn Rouse.

H&S Activist award winner Shawn Rouse with WRLC President Marc Xuereb and Unifor 1106 member Dave Eales
 left to right: Shawn Rouse, Marc Xuereb, and Dave Eales
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Workers' Ergonomics Conference

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) cause more pain, injury and disability than any other type of work-related injury and account for 40 per cent of all lost-time injury claims in Ontario. More concerning though is that these rates have changed little in a generation. Why is this?

Workers and their unions are asking the same questions. More importantly, they are seeking solutions to help end this needless suffering.

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Health & Safety Award Nominations Open

Each year the Workers' Health and Safety Centre, in conjunction with the Waterloo Regional Labour Council, presents a plaque to a health and safety activist who has been nominated by their Local Union and selected by the Labour Council. Nominations are now open!

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Hundreds Gather for Day of Mourning in Cambridge

family members of SMWIA 562 member Chris Crawford, who died on the job in 2014April 28, 2015 - Hundreds of workers, union leaders, and politicians paid their respects to workers who have been killed or injured on the job at the Labour Council`s Day of Mourning ceremony in Riverside Park in Cambridge.

Labour Council Health & Safety Committee Chair Darlene Wilson hosted the event, and spoke forcefully of the need to strengthen federal and provincial health and safety laws: "There continues to be a serious lack of commitment on behalf of governments at the provincial and especially at the federal level to enforce health and safety protections that we have fought so hard for, such as the right to refuse unsafe work."

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WSIB Rewards Offenders

Last week, the Ontario Federation of Labour blew the lid off the shameful practice of the WSIB giving millions in rebates to companies convicted of killing workers. The report, “Rewarding Offenders”, made front page news in the Toronto Star. Help keep the story alive by sharing this video of the media conference that broke the story.

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Safety Board Changes Hurting Injured Workers

[click photo to view more photos from the event]

Waterloo, April 28, 2014 - Waterloo Regional Labour Council President Marc Xuereb used his speech at the Day of Mourning ceremonies in Waterloo to address the changes to the WSIB that are resulting in more and more injured workers being denied their claims and ending up in poverty.

In front of a crowd of almost 200 people, including several local politicians and WSIB Chair Elizabeth Witmer, Xuereb detailed the cuts to the WSIB which have resulted in one in five injured workers living in poverty.

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Day of Mourning Waterloo 2014

Day of Mourning Ceremony in Waterloo April 28, 10:30am
Waterloo City Hall, 100 Regina St. S., Waterloo

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Waterloo, ON - Workers, union leaders, and local politicians will gather on Monday morning in Waterloo to commemorate the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, MPP Catherine Fife, and a representative of MP Peter Braid will all give addresses, as will Labour Council President Marc Xuereb and keynote speaker Greg Bobier, who is a business agent with the Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin Trades Council.

To RSVP click here

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Act Now to Stop Harper effort to weaken federal Health & Safety

The lives of almost one million Canadian workers will be placed in danger as a result of cynical amendments that the Conservative government is making to the Canada Labour Code. Buried deep in the government's latest budget bill tabled on October 22 are amendments to the health and safety provisions of the Code that have nothing to do with balancing the budget, and everything to do with putting workers' lives at risk. Watch this video to learn more on how you can help stop this.

 

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MPP Catherine Fife calls for enhanced worker safety

Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife has taken strong actions to challenge the Ontario government to respond to the death of construction worker Nick Lalonde, who fell from an 11-storey building on October 11, 2013.

On October 23th, she made this statement in the legislature:

 

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