Statement by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
On June 1, we join with labour and social justice organizations to recognize Injured Workers’ Day and stand up for those who have been injured or made ill as a result of their work.
In May of 2008, the Canadian Labour Congress adopted a resolution to proclaim June 1 a Canada-wide day of action to intensify the struggle for justice for all injured workers.
The day is typically marked in other provinces with events and rallies when activists can call for improvements to workers’ compensation, enhanced health and safety regulations, and better treatment of injured workers.
To my knowledge, we have not held such events in our province before. The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed what will happen on June 1st in many provinces, but it does change the fact that injured workers deserve better.
COVID-19 has not created these problems, but it has brought them clearly into focus. We in the labour movement know we cannot go back to how things were before the pandemic. We can stand together and push for a better future by demanding that workers be protected on the job; by ensuring that those who get sick are covered by workers’ compensation.
In Nova Scotia, about 25% of the workforce is excluded from basic workers’ compensation coverage. All workers with occupational diseases, including COVID -19, must be covered under workers’ compensation.
In Nova Scotia too many workers are dying at or because of work. They are injured on the job or suffer from a debilitating occupational disease from work-related causes. We believe that every worker deserves to come home safe and healthy at the end of their workday.