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Union calls for action against staffing buyer after death of temp worker

September 27, 2019

A temporary agency worker died Wednesday in an industrial accident at Fiera Foods in Toronto, according to news reports. And labor union Unifor is calling for severe and swift penalties against Fiera, saying it’s the fifth such death at Fiera and affiliated workplaces since 1999.

“Fiera Foods must not be allowed to operate business as usual and its owners must immediately take responsibility for this tragic death and answer to the victim’s family and the public for their actions,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

Dias also called for the government to intervene.

Jamie West and Wayne Gates of the New Democratic Party in Ontario said the Doug Ford government has rejected measures to protect temporary agency workers and a public investigation of Fiera Foods is needed in the wake of the recent fatality.

“Ontario workers need to know what steps were taken to correct any violations of health and safety requirements, since the [Ministry of Labour] investigated after the fourth fatality,” according to West and Gates.

Narcity reported that David Gelbllom, Fiera Foods’ general counsel, responded to the incident:

“The health and safety of our people is our priority,” according to the response reported by Narcity. “We have always worked to create healthy, safe job sites. In recent years we have committed even more resources and efforts to health and safety initiatives which have included working with third-party experts and the Ministry of Labour. But clearly more needs to be done. We know this and are re-committing to doing all we can to ensure such an incident cannot repeat itself.”

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