LETTER: Mourn the dead and fight for the living

COVID-19 has a human cost

Letter to the editor

To the Editor,

COVID-19 has a human cost. The pandemic has exposed the lack of protection for workers. Evidence from across the country, and indeed around the world, shows the virus is spreading at work—not only in health care settings, but also in factories, farm work and food processing, warehouses, schools, offices, transportation and other sectors.

Workers have had to fight for access to protective equipment, COVID-19 safety practices at work, paid sick leave and respect for their basic health and safety rights.

On this National Day of Mourning, April 28, we call on employers to work with health and safety committees and representatives to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. Being able to stay home when you are sick is fundamental to reducing workplace exposures and illness—not having to risk exposure or choose between taking care of a loved one or having a paycheque in order to keep a roof over your head and food on your table.

Some of the most dangerous worksites are right here on Vancouver Island, between loggers, fisherman, construction workers and industrial sites.

This day is important to all working Canadians. Every year, we pay our respects to and remember the thousands of workers that are killed, injured or suffer illness as a result of work-related incidents. We honour the many families, friends and co-workers who have been deeply affected by these tragedies. By working together, we can make changes.

Unionized workers from the Alberni Valley and West Coast are working together to strengthen our communities.

Port Alberni & District Labour Council

Coronavirus

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