In the pandemic, some people have been lucky enough to get to work at home, but there are still thousands of people in Ontario that have to go to a physical work location everyday, and they’re putting themselves in danger of catching COVID-19 in the process. Are these people being protected like they should, and who is looking out for them?
Around this time last year, Debora De Angelis of the United Food and Commercial Worker (UFCW) union appeared on the podcast to talk how the workers she represents saw pay raises and new benefits because of the first COVID lockdown. She was optimistic, but that optimism was short-lived as summer arrived and that pandemic pay and other compensation went away. It also didn’t come back for the bigger and deadlier second wave.
This is not a new story for Deena Ladd, who’s been fighting for workers for over 20 years now. She’s advocated for improved wages and working conditions, sought better protections for migrant workers, taught workers how to advocate and unionize, and she’s protected People of Colour in precarious jobs who’ve had no where else to go. It’s hard to think of a better person to talk about the subject of work during COVID, and how it still needs to change.
On this week’s podcast, Ladd will share her overall thoughts about COVID’s effect on work, and how she thinks work will be forever changed because of the pandemic. She will also talk about the political side of fighting for workers rights, and the difficulty developing solidarity among all workers. And finally, Ladd will also discuss her concerns about post-pandemic austerity, and the issues facing migrant workers in Ontario as the growing season begins.
So let’s talk about workers and their pandemic-related issues on this edition of the Guelph Politicast!
You can follow Deena Ladd on Twitter, and you can learn more about the work and advocacy of the Workers Action Centre at its website. Keep in mind that under the Canadian Labour Code you have the right to refuse dangerous work, and you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour by calling toll free at 1-877-202-0008.
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Photo Courtesy of the Workers’ Action Centre