Ontario security guard shortage threatens public’s health and safety, writes union to Premier Ford

TORONTO, April 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UFCW Local 333, the leading 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.
Premier of Ontario 
Legislative Building 
Queen’s Park 
Toronto ON,
M7A 1A1
Open Letter to the Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario regarding
the critical need for temporary security guard licensing.
Dear Premier: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.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.Premier, thank you for your consideration of this matter. We look forward to your response.Yours sincerely,
The open letter sent to Premier Ford can be downloaded here (http://ufcw.ca/files/UFCW-333-open-letter-to-Premier-Ford-re-Security-guards-27April2020.pdf).About UFCW Canada Local: UFCW Canada Local 333 is a private-sector provincial local union with more than 10,000 members throughout Ontario. Local 333 members come from many walks of life and work in almost every sector of the hospitality and security sectors throughout Ontario. From Windsor to Ottawa, Thunder Bay to the shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie, you will find UFCW Local 333 members working and playing active roles in their communities.       For additional information contact:A PDF attachment accompanying this announcement is available at http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/686c1a66-54e9-4c2e-a447-f3db0071f47b
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