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After pushing for more safety inspectors, OPSEU welcomes government decision to hire more

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
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Toronto – With the growing number of COVID-19 cases, and the threat of a full-blown second wave on the immediate horizon, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is pleased to see the government pro-actively hiring nearly 100 more inspectors to keep workers safe.

“We’ve been telling government that we’re not through the worst of this pandemic yet, and that complacency will kill,” said Thomas. “The government must react quickly to danger, and these new inspectors will help do just that.”

The new inspectors will cover a range of workplaces, including industrial, construction, and health care.

OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida said the new hires couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s simple math: not enough inspectors plus a rising number of cases equals an increased danger of deadly outbreaks,” said Almeida. “From Day 1 of this pandemic, we’ve been urging government to invest in more inspectors so that workers can have their concerns and their fears addressed as quickly as possible.

“I’m glad government has heard us. It’s the right thing to do, and the right time to do it.”

Neil Martin, chair of OPSEU’s OPS sector, said it will be welcome news for the inspectors already hard at work.

“Health and Safety Inspectors have been working double time from the start of this pandemic and have been on the frontline ensuring workplaces are safe,” said Martin. “We want to thank them for all their hard work and going the extra mile in this unprecedented time.

“These additional Health and Safety Inspectors will ensure that we are not playing catch-up. This is good news for workers in Ontario.”

For more information:
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931