Ontario Move Welcomed by Unifor

Unifor National President Jerry Dias Addressing Rally at Thunder Bay City Hall
Unifor National President Jerry Dias

Expanding Emergency Healthcare for Essential Workers

THUNDER BAY – Unifor is welcoming the Ontario government’s announcement today that it will expand access to emergency child care for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this pandemic, we’ve seen how crucial access to child care truly is to make it possible for essential workers to get to work, and keep the rest of us safe,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The Ford government is doing the right thing by listening to workers and health experts in this pandemic who have specifically called for these measures to be implemented as quickly as possible.”

In a letter sent to Premier Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Unifor called on the province to expand the list of workers eligible for emergency child care services including grocery workers, cleaners, public transit workers, taxi drivers, telecommunications workers, and other critical supply chain workers.

Today’s announcement includes truck drivers and workers in the food supply chain, retirement homes, interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel, Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts, Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario, and additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services.

“We have been asking for this measure because our members have told us from day one of this pandemic that this support was needed and the best way to show respect for essential workers is to listen to them,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor’s Ontario Director.


Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.