Will Doug Ford finally recognize Security Guards as Essential Workers?

UFCW Canada Local 333
·2 min read

RICHMOND HILL, Ontario, Jan. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UFCW Local 333, the union for security guards in Ontario, has sent an open letter to Premier Doug Ford asking his government to deem security guards essential workers and to ensure that they are added to the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is after Ford, in a January 13 COVID-19 briefing, stated “I am putting security guards within Long-Term Care homes to ensure that everyone coming into a Long-Term Care home is tested.”

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, our members who are employed as security guards have been working side-by-side with workers who have been deemed essential, so we do not understand why they are being overlooked for the COVID-19 vaccine,” says UFCW Local 333 Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Ketelaars.

Since March 2020, security guards have been tasked with ensuring orderly conduct and public and worker safety at grocery stores, LCBOs, Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities, hospitals, municipal and provincial facilities, shopping malls, big box stores, and many other private and public institutions.

“In many LTC homes, our members are not only tasked with screening and ensuring that pandemic controls are being followed, but they are also helping residents and transporting those who have passed to funeral service vehicles,” says Ketelaars. “In hospitals, they are tasked with guarding entrances to emergency departments, COVID-19 testing centres, and now vaccine centres, thus being exposed to symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of the virus while providing their essential services.”

“Although we have asked the government, since the beginning of the pandemic, to deem security guards as essential workers, and ensure that they are given pandemic pay, we are now also asking that guards be given priority for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine due to the hazardous nature of the work that they perform,” says Ketelaars.

“Given that Premier Ford stated in his press conference on January 13 that he would be putting security guards into LTC homes to monitor who comes into the homes and who has been tested for COVID-19, it seems that the premier has finally recognized the essential work that security guards are performing during the pandemic. We trust that he will be true to his word and do the right thing by ensuring security guards receive pandemic pay and are prioritized for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine,” he adds.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Jeff Ketelaars
Secretary-Treasurer
UFCW Local 333
Phone: 416-818-5663
E-Mail: jeff@ufcw333.ca
Attachment Included

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/cf58aee4-9d2e-4d38-bd15-74d4b4db8018