August 10th, 2020

Paid sick days could have prevented COVID-19 outbreak, loss of life at Toronto bakery: NDP

QUEEN’S PARK – Wayne Gates, NDP critic for Workplace Health and Safety, issued the following statement in response to news that, during the height of the pandemic, 184 workers were infected with COVID-19 at a FGF Brands, an industrial bakery in Toronto.

“Today we learned that many workers became sick with COVID-19 and one worker tragically lost their life at FGF Brands, an industrial bakery in Toronto. They were low-wage, temporary workers with no access to paid sick days when the outbreak began. They came to work when they were feeling sick because they would not be paid if they stayed home.

After the outbreak, these workers were given just a couple of paid sick days but that was too little and too late.

Lack of access to paid sick time left these workers vulnerable to COVID-19, and led to a massive outbreak at this plant, and the loss of a life. All workers, including temporary workers, must be able to take time off when they fall ill without worrying about lost wages or job security. Paid sick days are an essential part of preventing the spread of illness in any workplace, especially during this pandemic.”