PETERBOROUGH, ON, Oct. 18, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor is calling on Ontario Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn to take immediate action to resolve occupational disease claims resulting from chemical exposure at the GE plant in Peterborough.
"The Ministry of Labour promised an expeditious process for reviewing and resolving claims, with a commitment to provide the resources to make it happen," said Sue James, GE Retirees Occupational Health Advisory Committee Chair. "Yet, we continue to have a backlog of hundreds of claims being reviewed through the system, and completely inadequate funding of the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)."
Following years of advocacy by Unifor and the GE Retirees Occupational Health Advisory Committee, Minister Flynn agreed to the development of an expeditious process for reviewing and resolving claims, and substantial improvement of resources for OHCOW. The announcement of an internal WSIB review is a beginning, but there is still no funding provided for independent medical review.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has announced a review of some 250 previously denied claims with the prospect of acceptance but the funding and resources are still lacking to properly process these claims.
Today, the GE Retirees Occupational Health Advisory Committee, with Unifor's support, released a letter to Minister Flynn to demand that he live up to his promises.
"The government seems to understand what needs to be done, it's time to put words into action and just do it," said Unifor National Representative Joel Carr. "Time is of the essence. These workers are coping with very serious illnesses and their claims for proper compensation are already long overdue, this includes access to independent medical review that only OHCOW can provide."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 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.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at [email protected] or 416-896-3303 (cell)