The Ontario Rubber Workers Project is hosting information sessions on March 28 and 29 in Kitchener, Ont., for former rubber manufacturing workers and their serving family members. The sessions will focus on occupational disease and potential workers’ compensation.
"We know that many rubber workers have died from workplace exposures and many others are struggling with cancers and other occupational diseases," said Marty Warren, Ontario/Atlantic director of the United Steelworkers (USW), a partner in the Ontario Rubber Workers Project. "We believe many of these workers may have been wrongly denied compensation benefits in the past.”
Over that last several years, hundreds of former rubber workers who filed claims for compensation benefits saw their claims denied. Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is collaborating in the project, and it has announced that it will re-examine more than 300 compensation claims previously filed by rubber workers. It will also consider new claims.
Warren recommends former workers and surviving family members bring information on medical and work history with them to the sessions in order to review their cases.
The information sessions and the Ontario Rubber Workers Project are a joint effort by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, the Office of the Worker Adviser, the USW, the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees and the Rubber Town Workers Alliance Group.
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