Report from One Injured Worker Who Attended the Rally:
The Newfoundland and Labrador Injured Workers Association called for a rally to
confront the political leaders outside local NTV studios.
Approximately 100 injured workers converged onto the NTV parking lot awaiting
the arrival of the N.D.P., Lib., and P.C. leaders.
head of the association, organized this rally to call for a judicial inquiry
into the actions of WHSCC.
Watch NTV tonight 12 midnight Newfoundland
Other news media including VOCM News, C.B.C. and others,
interviewed many injured workers.
Premier Danny Williams was swamped
by injured workers as he got off his tour bus in front of the studios located
on Logy Bay Road in St. john's Newfoundland and Labrador.
Media had a
difficult time trying to get close as about 30 injured workers immediately
surrounded Premier Williams and Ms. Dodd. Many wore or carried hurriedly made
signs calling for a judicial inquiry, pointing out injustices, and other
Liberal leader Gerry Reid appeared visibly moved and shocked
at the pleas coming from this hastily gathered group seeking justice. All
participants were respectful, orderly, but determined to be heard.
missed Lorraine Michaels, leader of the N.D.P., but her car was in the parking
NTV News personality Sharon Snow interviewed me at length, and I
made it a point to state that I was not associated with the Newfoundland and
Labrador of Injured Workers Association and was speaking for myself. I also
made it a point to mention CIWS.CA and WCBCANADA.COM After the show
tonight I will post again to let you know how NTV presented the rally.
VOCM approached me and asked for a radio interview with me, which I gladly
I can assure you my friends, I did not hold back.
My only consideration for having a moderate demeanor was the fact that I had no
part in the organization of this event and was just another concerned citizen
backing up Ms. Dodd's call for a judicial injquiry.
At 7 P.M., the
leaders aired their debate. It will be interesting to see if they will respond
on air tonight to this request by so many people suffering from the same
More news will follow.
NTV is airing the leaders debate along with
clips showing Patricia Dodd of the Newfoundland and Labrador Injured Workers
Association shaking hands with Gerry Reid, leader of the opposition. Ms. Dodd
is asking Mr. Reid for a judicial inquiry into WHSCC and Dept. of Labour.
Standing next to Ms. Dodd is Mr. Fred Palmer, bringing support to Ms. Dodd
and letting all in attendance know that injured workers in all Provinces are
behind her efforts.
Premier Danny Williams showed his ignorance by
boldly stating he is not in favour of a review because he doesn't think it is a
big enough worry. He appeared rather miffed that there would even be a
suggestion of such a thing.
Gerry Reid doesn't appear to understand
the issues either, but was at least willing to talk further about the issues.
When approached by injured worker Len Starkes he appeared genuinely concerned
as Mr. Starkes explained his suffering.
As for N.D.P. candidate
Lorraine Michaels, she assured us injured workers issues are on the table. I
just wonder if she knows what they are?
My hat is off to one NTV
employee. As I approached the building with my cane and limp, there were two
security guards blocking me. I asked them if I could use the bathroom, never
thinking my request would be refused. Not only was it refused but I was told by
one guard to walk to the gas station down the road.
After a very
brief hesitation to contemplate whether I should attempt such a difficult task,
I told the guards that maybe I should go out back and piss on the wall.
At this point a more sensitive person from inside the building called me
in and escorted me to the bathroom.
I thought this rather appropriate
as the politicians get the limelight while the injured worker gets the toilet.
One observation I made was a personal one. I had never been exposed
to such a large group of injured workers in close proximity before. There was
an immediate bond of understanding between us all. No need to explain to each
other, just acceptance.
At the same time I realized that I could not
tell who was injured? Some certainly, some maybe or most likely, and some I was
surprised to know they had any disability. A curious thought came over me as I
realized that a non injured person would be unable to understand how a person
with no obvious physical deformities could be suffering and unable to work.
Many were in chronic pain, some in braces, a few with canes including myself,
but now I see why it is so easy for WCB to deny benefits and get away with it.
If the public sees no outside sign of disability, they have no understanding of
it, see no need to help us, and allow WCB to do what they want to us. It is a
problem of perception.
Let us hope the politicians perception
surrounding injured workers issues has increased. If a group of suffering
people carrying signs and pleading for a judicial inquiry does not increase
their perception, then what will?