The Society has joined labour and community groups in condemning the fifth worker death in 20 years at Fierra Foods and its affiliated plants. On September 25, 2019, 57-year-old cleaner Enrico Miranda was killed in the course of his duties. A Ministry of Labour investigation into that death is ongoing.
Through a landmark 2017 journalism investigation, the Toronto Star found that Fierra Foods has a cavalier attitude toward worker safety that has resulted in tragic deaths and numerous serious injuries. Fierra Foods often dodged direct responsibility for its unsafe work environment because it took advantage of temporary employment agencies. Under Workplace Safety and Insurance Board rules, it was fly-by-night temp agencies that were responsible for the injuries rather than the consistently dangerous Fierra Foods.
Labour and community organizations, including the Society, attended a protest at Fierra Foods on October 2 to raise awareness of Fierra Foods’ safety record and as well as the Ford government’s cuts to the Ministry of Labour. The provincial cuts have reduced workplace inspections that could have caught the safety problems that caused the death of yet another worker.
The Society formally condemned Fierra Foods through a resolution at the October 1 Executive Board meeting. That resolution also called on the Ontario Attorney General to direct police and prosecutors to undertake a criminal investigation and lay criminal charges as appropriate under Bill C-45, known as the Westray Bill.