October 16, 2019
TORONTO—Today labour activists from across Ontario occupied Doug Ford’s office to demand action from the provincial government to prevent workplace death and injuries at Fiera Foods.
“Desperate times call for extreme measures and the situation at Fiera Foods is certainly desperate,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We are calling on the Doug Ford government to protect precarious workers like those at Fiera Foods and we won’t take silence as an answer.”
Unifor is joining an occupation of the Doug Ford’s constituency office led by the Workers’ Action Centre and Jane Finch Action Against Poverty. The action comes after the tragic deaths of Amina Diaby in 2017 and Enrico Miranda last month at Fiera Foods in Toronto. A solidarity rally was also held on October 2 where community organizations and labour unions expressed outrage at the lack of government response to the conditions at the factory.
“Two workers have died on Premier Doug Ford’s watch at Fiera Foods and they may very well still be alive today if his government had acted to prevent their deaths,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Director. “We have no choice but to escalate the situation to draw out the Premier from wherever he is currently hiding.”
In 2018, the previous Liberal government amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to allow regulations to be introduced that would make employers such as Fiera Foods responsible for workplace injuries and deaths when employing temporary employment agency workers. To date no regulations have been introduced since Doug Ford came to power. The organizations occupying Doug Ford’s constituency office are jointly calling on the government to enact such a regulation.
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.