Calling on premier to give more protections to temp agency workers
On Sept. 25, Enrico Miranda was fatally crushed by a machine at Toronto bakery Fiera Foods. The temp worker from the Philippines was the fifth worker since 1999 to be killed on the job at Fiera Foods.
According to the Ontario Federation of Labour, on Oct. 25, 2018, a worker was killed when he was pinned between a tractor trailer and loading dock. On Sept. 2, 2016, a temp agency worker died when she was entangled in an unguarded machine. In December 2011, another temp agency worker was killed by a transport truck that was backing up. And in October 1999, a 16-year-old temp agency worker was killed in an unguarded dough maker.
Following the most recent death community and labour leaders have been calling on the Ontario government to prevent further workplace death. On Oct. 16, the group occupied Premier Doug Ford’s constituency office in Toronto, demanding his signature on section 83(4) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Regulations were drafted in 2018 to ensure companies using temp agency workers are held financially responsible for workplace deaths and injuries under WSIB, but it still await the premier’s signature to be implemented.
“Had Ford implemented Section 83(4) of WSIA, companies like Fiera Foods would be held fully financially responsible for the injuries to temp agency workers. This tragic death could have been prevented,” said OFL president Chris Buckley. “It is time for companies like Fiera Foods to be held accountable.”
An open letter was also drafted to the premier pushing for the regulations to be implemented. It was signed by the OFL, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, Workers’ Action Centre and Fight for $15 and Fairness.
Fiera Foods has conducted an investigation into the death of Miranda and has hired former Ontario attorney general David Young to lead a review of its health and safety practices.
“As we move forward, Fiera Foods will continue to mourn Mr. Miranda, support his co-workers, friends and family and seek to use lessons from this tragedy to make our workplaces safer for all those who enter them,” said Boris Serebryany, president and CEO of Fiera Foods.
Over the years, Fiera Foods has been fined $600,000 by the Ontario Ministry of Labour for the above-mentioned fatalities.