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It’s shameful that Fortune 100 company Honeywell uses finances as an excuse to lay off essential workers: OPSEU

Smokey at Women's Conference in 2019

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas calls it shameful that multinational giant Honeywell has issued layoff notices for hospital maintenance workers at two Ontario facilities.

“Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk took home a compensation package worth more than $20 million last year in 2019 and in the middle of the worst pandemic in modern times and he has left frontline workers scrambling to pay the rent,” said Thomas.  “Has the 20-million-dollar man taken a pay cut?”

The Fortune 100 company claimed the layoffs were necessary due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Thomas says it’s a prime example of how P3 partnerships do nothing to serve public interests.  He points out that the contracts Honeywell has for maintenance work in Waypoint Hospital in Penetanguishene, as well as hospitals in London, and St. Thomas, have been paid in full.

“Honeywell is not losing a dime from having these workers on the job. If there was no P3 arrangement, these workers would still be providing services without interruption.”

Notices went out last week telling employees that they will be required to take a one-week unpaid furlough to “help the company weather these conditions.”

“Like every other Canadian affected by job loss or interruption during this time, these employees must turn to the government for help,” said Thomas. “Taxpayers have to pay the price while the 20-million-dollar man probably is relaxing on his yacht.”

These workers are essential to the health and safety of Ontarians and shouldn’t be treated this way, Thomas added.

“Our members actually have been performing additional work over the last few weeks building a special COVID-19 unit at Waypoint to prepare for the pandemic,” he said. “In a recent bulletin, the hospital praised them for such work. We need these workers on the frontlines to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

Thomas is calling on Health Minister Christine Elliott to treat Honeywell the same as the government has treated other unscrupulous actions by greedy companies.

“The Premier went after Pusateri’s for charging $30 for Lysol disinfecting wipes, rightfully calling it ‘disgusting’ behavior and promising ‘to protect the people of this province,’” says Thomas. “The Health Minister should tell Honeywell its action is not acceptable and that it should act in a responsible manner.”

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