After two members at Local 1090 slipped on ice and sustained serious injuries the Ministry of Labour ruled that the employer was at fault. The employer, Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario was fined $50,000 by the Ministry and is required to pay a 25 per cent victim surcharge toward a fund to assist victims.
“Casino Rama was sent a strong message with this significant fine for this negligence,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. “If proper precautions were taken in the first place, these injuries would never have occurred. It is a constant struggle for all unions to ensure that employers are accountable and doing everything possible to provide safe workplaces.”
The incident occurred in December 5, 2017 and involved two women, one with a disability. The first person to slip broke her leg and the other one, who raced over to assist, fell and injured her head.
“There were another seven people that day who slipped on the icy surface but who were lucky to not be seriously injured,” said Devon Parrott, WSIB Health and Safety representative from Local 1090, representing members at Casino Rama. “The employers salting program was inadequate and these injuries are a direct result of the negligence.”
After the incident occurred, a complaint was filed and the Ministry of Labour determined that Casino Rama’s parking lot was a safety risk and that the company’s snow removal and salt program were not up to standard, which led to the fine.
While Parrott said the fine should be higher since both workers were impacted and hurt, he also credits Unifor for ensuring that workplaces are safe. With a union in the workplace, members can raise health and safety issues before injuries happen and work with health and safety reps. But, if the happen nonetheless, the union can also provide swift action to seek recourse.
“Having a union here is helping to keep the employer accountable,” said Parrot. “It means members have someone they can go to and not just get empty promises that problems will be addressed.”