This Thursday, April 28, 2022, is the National Day of Mourning for workers who have gotten killed, sick or injured at work.
We mourn the dead and fight for the living.
If you are in Toronto, please join us at 1:00pm on 28 April at 400 University Ave (the Ministry of Labour). Alongside IAVGO and the Injured Workers Action for Justice, we’ll deliver an open letter from injured workers and survivors of workplace deaths to Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, demanding justice and calling on him to ensure protection for all workers.
For more information, please email email@example.com. Check out the Facebook event here.
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.
Ralston Maise with allies at WSIB. Photo: Rebecca Gerster.
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. 🙂
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
Dear Mr. Teahen,
I would like to express my deep concern about how the WSIB is treating
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
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
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a community delegation launched a human rights complaint against the Workplace Safety Insurance Board. The delegation included members from the Injured Workers Action for Justice (IWA4J), Justice for Migrant Workers, J4MW and the Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO).
After submitting the application, we went to express our support for the Toronto Black Lives Matter Toronto Tent City in front of the Toronto Police Department.
The complaint involves Robert Sulph, a former migrant farm worker from Jamaica who was seriously injured on a tobacco farm in Delhi, Ontario in 2013. After returning home to Jamaica, his health condition has deteriorated as a result of WSIB policies that racially discriminate against migrant workers and their access to health care under WSIB. You can read more about Mr. Sulph’s story here.