Labour activists highlight 'bad' employers during pandemic

Workers encouraged to describe ‘reckless’ workplace situations

Labour activists highlight 'bad' employers during pandemic

A group of labour activists and workers in Toronto has launched a website encouraging workers to report on “bad” workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are upset that some bosses are making their employees work under conditions that could spread COVID-19. The changes to employment insurance (EI) aren’t enough to reduce the risks to workers and our communities. People should be able to stay home to self-isolate without losing wages; or if they want to work, they need a guarantee of safe working conditions.”

Workers are encouraged to describe their “reckless” workplace situation by naming their employer, along with telling how other workers can help (through tweets or emailing or calling head office, for example).

“Together we can help each other stay safe and build a better world,” say the organizers at

Worker complaints
“They won’t let nonessential employees leave, like cosmetics and regular cashiers. They forced an older lady to resign because she was scared and didn’t want to come to work. It’s unnecessary to have nonessential personal in the store at these times. Many who are ill have still come to work because it’s not COVID-19 sick,” says one worker about a major grocery retailer.

Another claim made against a national broadcaster says: “[They are] asking managers to assess [the] health of employees when managers clearly are not qualified to make these assessments. [They’re] only asking staff to keep one-metre distance from each other, when best practice is two metres.”

Another worker is unhappy with a health-care employer: “[It’s] requiring non-essential clinical staff that are able to work from home to report to work at the hospital with no rationale provided. Many employees must travel long distances by public transit. It is unclear why we must come into the hospital (we are not conducting any in-person clinical work). It seems an unnecessary health risk for employees, their families, and the general public.”

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