Ontario security guard shortage threatens public’s health and safety, writes union to Premier Ford
By CS StaffCOVID-19 Updates News COVID-19 UFCW Local 333
UFCW Local 333 calls on Premier Doug Ford to remedy the critical shortage of security guards in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic
UFCW Local 333, a union for security guards in Ontario, has asked Ontario Premier Doug Ford to take action to address the critical shortage of security guards in the province.
In an open letter sent to the premier on Monday, UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers union) Local 333 outlined how the shortage is “an urgent matter that threatens the public’s health, safety, and the efforts to maintain social distancing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The shortage has been amplified by the temporary closure of government offices.
“While there are thousands of ready and capable Ontarians who could be trained and licensed to meet the need, the current state of emergency has shuttered guard testing, licensing and renewal offices. An alternative system is urgently needed,” wrote the union.
BELOW IS THE TEXT OF THE OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER FORD
We are writing to ask for your help to address the acute shortage of security guards in Ontario: an urgent matter that threatens the public’s health, safety, and the efforts to maintain social distancing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current demand for security guards is far beyond the supply – a shortage of at least 1,500 individuals desperately needed by major Ontario frontline employers right now, including food and other essential retail stores, hospitals, long-term care homes, and commercial and government locations including detention centres.
While there are thousands of ready and capable Ontarians who could be trained and licensed to meet the need, the current state of emergency has shuttered guard testing, licensing and renewal offices. An alternative system is urgently needed.
In Quebec, for instance, the government has implemented a system where security guard online training and testing has temporarily replaced the traditional face-to-face licensing system until the pandemic is over. An alternative system here, delivered by the government solely, or jointly with security guard companies, could overcome the current obstacle to addressing the shortage of security guards while also providing thousands of good new jobs; including for individuals displaced and unemployed because of the pandemic.
Security guards are vital frontline workers, first responders, and essential to protecting the health and safety of the Ontario public throughout the year, and certainly during this pandemic crisis. We ask for your assistance to remedy the critical shortage of security guards. Our union would look forward to working with your government and the security guard companies to achieve this.
Premier, thank you for your consideration of this matter. We look forward to your response.
UFCW Canada Local 333
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