29 April, 2021
Toronto, ON – While the IAM welcomes the announcement that Ontario will finally have paid sick days, we are concerned that there is much missing from this legislation.
The new legislation, Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program, provides $200 per day for up to three days if a worker is sick, has symptoms, needs to get vaccinated, waiting for COVID-19 test results, or has COVID-related mental health issues. No sick note required and the paid days are retroactive to 19 April, 2021. They may also use these days one at a time.
“It’s a good first step but too little and tragically late,” said Stan Pickthall, IAM Canadian General Vice-President. “The Ford government has finally agreed to pay for urgently-needed sick days, but we still wonder why it took more than one year to implement. It was 460 days ago that the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Canada and, since them, almost 8,000 Ontarians have died of the virus. We wonder how many of them could have been prevented if paid sick days had been implemented from the start,” Pickthall said.
The paid sick days legislation ends on 25 September, 2021 – lasting mere 5 months. “The Ford Government has been delaying, dissembling and distracting from providing any help to Ontario workers – even after months of pressure from workers themselves,” said Derek Ferguson, GLR Responsible for Political Action. “With a 14-day isolation period, this benefit doesn’t even come close to protecting workers in Ontario.”
The Ontario paid sick days are not permanent, not portable, and will be administered by the Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB).
“Big businesses should be obliged to pay their own workers this benefit and not be further subsidized by Ontario taxpayers,” said Pickthall. “With their profits soaring, Loblaws and Amazon don’t need even more breaks that governments are already giving them.”
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IAM Canada Communications
This article was originally posted on the IAM Canada website. View the original post here: IAM reacts to paid sick days announced by Ford government