Hospital workers protest changes to laws for Ontario health-care workers
By Clifford SkarstedtExaminer Photojournalist
Fri., July 17, 2020timer4 min. read
Hospital workers in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Campbellford staged outdoor rallies on Friday to urge the provincial government to restore workplace rights that have been suspended for months by emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Bill 195, the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, which was introduced by the Progressive Conservative government in the Ontario legislature last week, those rights could be suspended for up to three years, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
The province’s emergency powers override worker rights on vacation, hours of work and the possibility of contracting out their jobs, the union says.
Workers represented by CUPE Local 1943 staged a rally outside Peterborough Regional Health Centre on Friday morning. Similar protests were held Friday at hospitals in Lindsay, Cobourg and Campbellford.
The union fears workers could be laid off or have shift changes with no notice even though they don’t have child care.