On December 10th, please take a minute to tell Tom Teahen that Ralston Maise deserves fairness from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
Ralston injured his knee in June 2017 while picking berries. Even though the WSIB is supposed to protect injured workers, under Teahen’s leadership, they:
- Refused to recognize Ralston’s accident
- Conducted interviews with Ralston’s co-workers while the employer was in the room (i.e. a chilling effect)
When migrant workers become sick or injured on the job, they know they could be sent home before accessing the full medical care to which they’re entitled. Consequently, they often downplay workplace injuries. Similarly, co-workers who are called upon as witnesses often fear speaking out against their bosses.
If the WSIB had accounted for these realities, Ralston’s life would be much better: he could have recovered and made a decent life for himself and his family. Instead, Ralston is now dependent on the generosity of others for housing, has trouble putting food on the table, and cannot get medical care for his injury.
On November 23rd, 2018, Ralston led a delegation with dozens of concerned community members to demand fairness and compensation for his injuries. WSIB refused our request to send a decision maker to address our concerns. Instead, our delegation was met with a public relations representative.
To date, no steps have been taken to address concerns raised by Ralston and the community.
On December 10th, please take a minute to tell Tom Teahen c/o Steve Jackson that Ralston Maise deserves fairness from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
Call him at (416) 344-4320 and/or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t receive this call-to-action until a few days later, it’s still fine to call or phone. 🙂
Sample Call To: (416) 344-4320 Hello Mr. Jackson. I have a message for Mr. Teahen. My name is ____ . I’m calling from ____(city or organization) to express my deep concern about how the WSIB is treating Ralston Maise, a migrant worker who was injured at work last year. The WSIB denied his claim and ignored the fact that migrant workers often downplay injuries for fear of repatriation. I urge the WSIB to immediately provide fair compensation to Ralston and change the system so that it better protects injured migrant workers. Thank you.
Sample Email – please CC email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Mr. Teahen, I would like to express my deep concern about how the WSIB is treating Ralston Maise. The WSIB refused to recognize Ralston’s accident and ignored the fact that migrant workers often downplay their injuries for fear of repatriation and permanent removal from the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. It then interviewed Ralston’s co-workers while the employer was in the room with no regard for the consequences they face if they speak out against their employer. The WSIB is well aware of these issues but has not taken sufficient steps to address them. By failing to do so, the WSIB is denying migrant workers equitable access to the workers’ compensation system. I urge you to immediately: 1. Provide fair compensation for Ralston Maise; 2. Train WSIB's eligibility adjudicators to take into consideration the unique vulnerabilities faced by migrant workers in their decision making; 3. Strengthen protections for witnesses so that they are not put at risk for telling the truth; and 4. Work with migrant workers and their advocates to take immediate and concrete steps to address the WSIB’s institutionalized racism. I look forward to seeing these changes in effect and to receiving your response. Sincerely, (Name)
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