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News & Stories

May 1, 2020

MFL News WCB

MFL shines light on WCB rejection of Covid-19 cases

The Manitoba Fedration of Labour has learned that WCB COVID-19 claims by workers in Manitoba are being approved at an alarmingly low rate, with just six per cent of claims having been accepted so far (7 out of 123). The vast majority of claims related to COVID-19 have been submitted by health care workers. The MFL has been calling for the Pallister government to provide presumptive WCB coverage for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic here in Manitoba.

After learning of these deeply concerning numbers, President Kevin Rebeck has once again written the Minister of Finance to encourage the government to do the right thing and provide presumptive WCB coverage for COVID-19 to make sure workers have access to a simpler, more straightforward claims process that provides them the supports they need. You can read that letter here

You can read a previous letter from President Rebeck on this issue here

 

 

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April 6, 2020

MFL News General

MFL calls for the extension of health care coverage for uninsured Manitobans

Today, MFL President Kevin Rebeck wrote to the Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living to join in the call for the Government of Manitoba to extend health care coverage for those residents in Manitoba who are currently uninsured and do not meet the eligibility criteria for provincial health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we know that the health of our province depends on the health of all Manitobans. When those that are most vulnerable are denied health care, and believe they are unable to access free testing and treatment for COVID-19, it puts our entire community at risk of a more rapid and greater spread of the virus.

Migrant workers, international students, and undocumented migrants who have lost their status, are all at risk of contracting the virus and spreading it without access to easily acceptable free public healthcare. Currently some have some type of insurance, often private emergency service insurance that may not cover COVID-19 assessments, testing or treatment. Others may face the unaffordable barrier of paying up front for services and waiting for insurance companies to reimburse them. And still others have no health insurance at all. These circumstances, along with the fear of possible detention or deportation negatively influence these members of our community to put all of us at risk by not seeking healthcare services. You can read President Rebeck's letter here

 

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April 1, 2020

MFL News WCB

Manitoba Federation of Labour continues to call for presumptive workers compensation coverage for COVID-19

Statement on behalf of Kevin Rebeck, President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour:

Many Manitobans are going to work to be there for us during the COVID-19 pandemic. From health care to grocery stores to public services, these Manitobans are putting themselves at greater risk to exposure to COVID-19 on the job. 

We need to make sure that the right type of workers compensation coverage is in place for them, and the right type of coverage is called presumptive. So far, the Pallister government has failed to commit to presumptive workers compensation for COVID-19.

The claims process for this coverage would be easier for workers to navigate, and would get them the supports they need more rapidly. We should not force workers who are exposed to COVID-19 on the job to go through a longer, more difficult claim process. 

We call on the Minister of Finance to commit that workers compensation coverage for exposure to COVID-19 on the job will be provided on a presumptive basis, as it is with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

We owe it to the Manitobans who are showing up for us in this pandemic to have the right workers compensation coverage in place for them. The time to act is now. 

                                                                                                                                   

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March 29, 2020

Health & Safety

Manitoba Federation of Labour urges increased funding for Workplace Safety and Health to respond to increased demands of COVID-19 pandemic

(Winnipeg) - The Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) is urging the Pallister government to immediately restore $500,000 in funding cuts to Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health to help the branch meet the increased demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, MFL President Kevin Rebeck announced today.

“A pandemic is a bad time to cut workplace safety and health, but Manitoba’s Budget 2020 does just that,” said Rebeck. “We need our workplace safety and health officers to be well-equipped and fully-resourced to be able to respond to workplace concerns about COVID-19, as well as to provide information to workers and employers to help them prevent the spread of the virus.”

Trained provincial safety and health officers are best-placed to educate and respond to worker and employer questions and concerns about preventing COVID-19 transmission on the job. These officers should also be equipped with personal protective equipment when physically responding to workplace investigations.

Rebeck added that with new rules in place to limit public gatherings, Manitoba’s workplaces remain the largest congregations of people in our province, and so ensuring they remain safe is critically important to the overall public health response to COVID-19. These funding cuts to the branch affects the ability for safety and health officers and staff to be able to inspect workplaces and help respond to workers concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We know that Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health is receiving increased requests for information about how to keep workplaces safe during this pandemic, and workers are wondering about their right to refuse unsafe work,” said Rebeck. “We hope that the Pallister government will do the right thing and increase funding for this important front-line service.”

Manitoba’s unions have been flooded with calls about the pandemic from workers who are raising concerns of the safety of their workplaces and what prevention measures their workplaces should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The province has released a number of public health orders that focused on public gatherings, the hospitality, retail and transportation sectors, but did not speak to other industries that depend daily on large workforces. 

You can read President Rebeck's letter to the Minister of Finance regarding workplace safety and health cuts here.  

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March 23, 2020

MFL News WCB

Manitoba Federation of Labour calls for workers compensation coverage for workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job

Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck about the need for workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job to be covered under Workers Compensation immediately:

With the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in our province, the Manitoba Federation of Labour has written to the Minister of Finance to highlight the urgent need to put a plan in place to ensure workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job are covered by workers compensation.

Even with many Manitobans in isolation or practicing self-distancing measures, we are all still relying on many workers to attend their jobs to provide health care services, operate grocery stores and pharmacies, deliver meals, transport essential goods, and maintain vital transit, infrastructure, community and emergency services, as well as other desperately needed services like child care and flying Canadians home from abroad.

Many are putting themselves at greater risk to exposure to COVID-19 to help us all. We owe it to them to provide presumptive workers compensation coverage for all Manitobans who contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment. 

This would provide some assurance that they can continue to provide for their families if they are required to self-quarantine or seek hospitalization. The time to act is now.

You can read the letter here

                                        

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March 19, 2020

MFL News

MANITOBA FEDERATION OF LABOUR STATEMENT ON THE PROVINCIAL BUDGET

Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck on the Provincial Government Budget

We realize that this budget was originally meant to be introduced last week, but our province and economy have changed dramatically since then. 

We need an emergency economic action plan that meets our new realities: large numbers of workers experiencing reduced shifts and layoffs, schools and child-care centres shut down, businesses and non-profit organizations closing, and workers and their families struggling to stay afloat.

Working families in Manitoba, and our economy and health care system are all facing unprecedented challenges. The budget as presented does not reflect the new realities Manitoba workers are facing.

Manitobans are worried about their health and their ability to pay the bills over the coming weeks. They are worried about keeping their jobs or having jobs to come back to. People are looking to their government for support in navigating the uncertain economic times ahead. And they are looking for increased investments to meet our increased health care needs, not the flat-lined funding for health care that this budget presents.

We are calling on the Pallister government to take a necessary first step and make a clear commitment to all working Manitobans to immediately implement 14 days of job-protected leave. People need all the support they can get right now, from all levels of government.

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March 19, 2020

MFL News

Manitoba Federation of Labour Calls for 14 days of paid leave for all workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck on the need for the Government of Manitoba to immediately implement 14 days of paid job-protected leave for all Manitoba workers:

Throughout our province, workers are increasingly being asked to stay home while we all confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and post-secondary institutions are closed or closing, child-care centres are suspending services, and businesses and non-profit organizations are scaling back or voluntarily shutting down to play their part in managing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Manitobans are worried, and they are looking to their government for support to survive the financial and economic uncertainty ahead. Over the coming days and months, governments will need to enact a number of measures to protect the economic security of workers, families, and communities.

All of these things are being done in the interest of public health. But it also means that as each day goes by more workers will be off work and missing a paycheque. Protecting public health is fundamentally important, but so is the ability for workers to keep paying the bills.

Today, Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck has sent the attached letter to the Premier of Manitoba, the Minister of Finance, the Leader of the Official Opposition, and the Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party to call on the Government of Manitoba to act quickly to make sure that all workers are supported financially with 14 days of paid job-protected leave if they stay home because they are self-isolating, sick, caring for children, or because their employer has made the decision to shut down or scale back operations in the interest of public health.

 

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March 13, 2020

MFL News

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, MFL President Kevin Rebeck calls on Government of Manitoba to provide paid leave for all Manitoba workers

President Kevin Rebeck has written this letter to the Premier of Manitoba calling for the Government of Manitoba to immediately implement 14 days of job-protected leave for all Manitoba workers, to help them if they need to self-isolate or care for a loved one due to COVID-19.

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March 12, 2020

MFL News General

Fighting for working families in the legislature

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

I know many were surprised by the procedural delays in the legislature yesterday by the Manitoba NDP. To be clear, we are glad to see that one party in the Legislature is interested in fighting legislation that will be bad for working people in our province.

Our understanding is that the Pallister government could have introduced the budget yesterday, and they are able to now, but they are choosing not to. The NDP is using every tool in its toolkit to make sure we have enough time to organize opposition to legislation that the Pallister government wants to ram through the legislature this spring, including legislation that will weaken the rights of working people and unions. They are doing this because they are on our side. They are on the side of working families.

In Solidarity,

Kevin Rebeck

President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour

 

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February 21, 2020

MFL News General

Trial challenging Pallister wage-freeze legislation concludes

The trial for the constitutional challenge to the Pallister government’s Public Services Sustainability Act has now concluded.

We are proud to stand up for the rights of working people, but we wish that this government had respected these rights and met at the bargaining table, not the courtroom.

One of the most shocking things we learned from the government’s closing arguments is that they have actually given up on trying to convince anyone there was a fiscal crisis in our province. Remember how often Brian Pallister said in the lead up to this legislation that it was needed because of Manitoba’s finances? Well, it seems his own government and its lawyers don’t even believe that. Brian Pallister is just making it up as he goes along.

The Pallister government’s heavy-handed wage freeze law fundamentally undermines the constitutionally-protected right to collective bargaining, and this court case has been about protecting the right for workers.

We are proud of the case that we put forward on behalf of working people. I want to thank all of Manitoba’s unions who supported this, and to our excellent legal team for their dedication.

- Kevin Rebeck, President of the Manitoba Federation of Labour

 

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2020 Women's Conference - Postponed due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, June 18, 2020 until Friday, June 19, 2020

UFCW Training Centre, 880 Portage Ave. - Winnipeg

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