CAW Throws Support Behind Injured Workers Campaign

December 6, 2011, 3:25 PM EST

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CAW Council delegates unanimously endorsed a resolution calling on the union to re-commit itself to the fight for injured workers rights and to champion a call for long-overdue reforms to the workers' compensation system in Ontario.

CAW Locals 112 and 707 introduced separate (although similar) resolutions to the CAW Council on December 3. The resolutions called on the union to build support around four key demands for reforming workers' compensation, including:

. A guarantee of injured worker job security, by employers, and accommodation measures that ensure a level of dignity or full compensation;
. Full respect given to the advice of workers' medical practitioners, by the Workers' Safety and Insurance Board, with respect to worker recuperation and rehabilitation;
. A guarantee of lifetime pension benefits for lifetime injuries;
. A full "cost of living" adjustment for all workers' compensation benefits.

The resolutions rebuke the report, and recommendations, issued by business consulting firm KPMG on restructuring Ontario's workers' compensation system. The report, commissioned by the WSIB, undermines the "fundamental principles of workers' compensation", as stated in the resolutions.

Among a series of suggested reforms, the KPMG report calls on the WSIB to deny a greater share of compensation claims, offer fewer oral hearings (which removes the opportunity for many injured workers to be heard, directly) and introduce greater restrictions on appeals.

CAW Local 112 Financial Secretary and Chair of the CAW Council Workers' Compensation Committee Scott McIlmoyle said that these recommendations signal an all-out-attack on Ontario's injured workers.

"At a time when Ontario's injured workers need greater support, KPMG is proposing reforms that would effectively end the workers' compensation system as we know it," McIlmoyle said.

Council delegates resolved to meet with senior representatives at all regional WSIB offices in Ontario to raise the union's concerns, meet with MPPs across the province and do workplace education on the importance of a stronger workers' compensation system that prioritizes the needs of injured workers.

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