The PWU Mourns
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of one of our own. Earlier this week, Nathan Reynolds, a 27-year-old Hydro One Lines Regional Maintainer II from Gravenhurst, was killed in a motor vehicle accident while working on the job. Additional information about the accident will be released as appropriate.
We offer our deepest condolences to all Nathan’s family, friends, and coworkers affected by this loss. We cannot imagine how difficult this time must be.
During the next days and months, we encourage you to seek out the support you need. As we obtain more information on the family’s wishes of how you can show your support, we will share it with the Membership.
Power Workers’ Union
Labour Council Mourns Workplace Death
June 15, 2021
Grey Bruce Labour Council-For Immediate Release
An Injury to One is an Injury to All
Workplace accidents and exposures to hazardous substances in workplaces take loved ones, friends and colleagues away from us each day. Some die on the job as a result of a catastrophic situation that takes life almost immediately or very shortly after the accident. Many others die years later from the adverse effects of exposure to a hazardous substance such as asbestos. In any case it is not uncommon for Ontario to witness one worker succumb to workplace injury, exposure or illness for each day of the year.
For the Labour Movement and the Grey Bruce Labour Council there is nothing more important than the health and safety of workers in any and all workplaces. It is the health and safety of workers that gave birth to organized labour. Health and Safety is in the DNA of unions and labour councils and when there is any death or illness or both, it strikes at the core of who we are. It is this fundamental value in the Labour Council and across the union movement that symbolizes the sentiment that “an injury to one is an injury to all”.
The Grey Bruce Labour Council became aware of the loss of a worker in Bruce County on June 14th. Investigations and various processes will address the questions of what happened. No one should attempt to speculate on what happened. We can be very thankful that occupational health and safety law in Ontario ensures that a fulsome investigation will take place and workers will be part of this.
Kevin Smith, President of the Grey Bruce Labour Council, speaking on behalf of the thousands of workers represented by the Labour Council notes, “as union activists and witness to workplace carnage only too often, we are all too familiar with the pain that the family, friends and colleagues are experiencing as a result of this tragedy. Our experience commits our expression of sorrow and condolences to be tearful and profoundly heartfelt. May the memory of your loved one be a blessing”.
The Grey Bruce Labour Council welcomes all media inquiries.
PWU Grieves for the Muslim Community
The PWU Grieves for the Muslim Community
Discouragement, sadness, and defeat can be felt by Ontarians all around the province. On Sunday, June 6th, an unfathomable attack of terror was conducted against a family of five in London, Ontario.
We will not repeat the name of the terrorist who carried out this heinous act of hate, instead we will name the victims. Madiha Salman, 44, her husband Salman Afzaal, 46, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Mr Afzaal's 74-year-old mother were all struck by a vehicle while taking an evening stroll yesterday. The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez Afzaal has survived the attack and is currently recovering in hospital from his injuries.
If you are struggling with this tragedy and require assistance, we encourage you to contact your EFAP provider for support.
Should you wish to help more, here are some routes you can take:
- A GoFundMe page has been created for Fayez, in which the PWU will be donating towards.
- Contribute to the Fayez’s GoFundMe page:
- Salman Family Sadaqa Jariya Fund
- Sign this petition:
- Petition: Urgent Call for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia
It is important to the PWU that we emphasize that we deplore any type of racism or hate and reiterate that it has no place within our workforce. We stand in solidarity with #OurLondonFamily and our Muslim community and will continue to work to ensure they always feel safe and supported.
Power Workers’ Union
Love is Where We Belong
June 9th, 2021
Grey Bruce Labour Council For Immediate Release
Love is Where we Belong
The threats that so many face because of faith, skin colour, heritage, gender, sexuality, age and the vast list of diversity that comprises who and what we all are must no longer be provided its oxygen of hate. It is hate that feeds the xenophobia that victimizes millions around the world and those who we call neighbours. Neighbours just like our sisters and brothers killed in London this week and those witness to repugnant graffiti and vandalism in communities across Grey and Bruce Counties.
“The Grey Bruce Labour Council is shaken to the core and beyond being heartbroken by the Islamophobic attack on a London, Ontario family this past Sunday”, says Labour Council President, Kevin Smith. “Grief stricken by this act of domestic terrorism and murder, Smith notes that our grief will soon turn into commitment as people of good conscience commit to once and for all acting to stamp out this very kind of xenophobia that takes from us, at a time we can ill afford to lose “our best” to the darkest forces in the world”.
Coming only days after the start of a month dedicated to love, Pride, and to the extraordinary accomplishments of Indigenous People honoured in Indigenous History Month brings perhaps the harshest truth to the forefront. “The truth, that we still have much work to do, but in spite of all this we know that “Love is Where We Belong. The acts, as heinous as they are, shall not force us to take one step back” says Labour Council VP for Bruce, Dave Trumble.
Labour Council VP for Grey, Chris Stephen says “in times like this we are thankful for leadership. Leadership like the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. The Grey Bruce Labour Council as part of Ontario and Canada’s broader labour movement is absolutely committed to doing all that can be done to combat Islamophobia and white supremacy in our communities and our workplaces.”
The pain and grief of the tragedy in London, the remains of Indigenous children found in Kamloops and the pain and suffering caused by acts such as these will linger for a very long time. In this time the Labour Council sends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues impacted by these tragedies and commits to fighting against all forms of racism, bigotry, and hate.
“This act of hate against our Muslim brothers and sisters, friends, and comrades breaks our hearts,” said Labour Council President, Kevin Smith. “We extend our solidarity to all those who have been impacted by this despicable rise in white supremacist violence”.
In one voice, the Grey Bruce Labour Council will be heard over and over again as will no longer accept the despicable rise in white supremacist violence, nor any violence or act that demeans or undermines our sisters, brothers, comrades, friends, families and allies.
Our allies in this are many, and we see compassion in simple acts. Kincardine, likely along with many communities across our land, will leave flags at half-staff until June the 11th. This honours the family in London and continues to tell of compassion at all levels of communities.
The Grey Bruce Labour Council has been the voice of workers in Grey Bruce for over sixty years and all media inquiries are welcome.
Subject: Could you survive an EMS shift?
Send a letter to demand more support for paramedics
Moment: Paramedic week
Action: Send a letter
The pandemic is taking a toll on a lot of people, but I wanted to focus on how it's impacting our first responders.
During the pandemic, we’ve all focused a lot on hospitals. What gets lost are the critical moments before a patient gets to the emergency room.
Paramedics have precious few minutes to reach us in an emergency.
Fewer still to make life-altering decisions. I can’t imagine the pressure they’re under.
We owe a lot to paramedics and all first responders, especially during the pandemic.
This EMS Week, help make sure paramedics have access to all of the proper equipment to keep themselves and their patients safe.
Send a letter today and tell the government that adequate PPE is essential.
Thanks for your support
$15 federal minimum wage
Subject: Don’t let them off the hook
There was a lot to celebrate in Budget 2021: a $15 federal minimum wage, improvements to labour standards, extended emergency benefits, and major investments in child care, and skills and training.
But the federal government dropped the ball on issues that need urgent action.
We can’t let the government off the hook. Budget 2021 is a great start, but we have to fight to make sure we’re building a greener, more sustainable economy – with safe, well-paid, lasting jobs to support it.
Send a letter to your MP to hold them accountable for sustainable, well-paid jobs, worker protections for all, and more investment in climate commitments.
We’ve drafted the letter for you. All you have to do is hit send:
Thanks for taking action