Construction worker airs concerns about unsanitary conditions in speech at Toronto site

Video of a construction worker expressing concerns about unsanitary conditions at a Toronto job site is making the rounds on social media as most sites continue to operate in Ontario despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“If I lose my job, I lose my job,” he says.

A group of coworkers listen to the man as he gives his speech.

“We don’t have six feet among each other here,” he says.

“When you’re in the work site there, you guys don’t have six feet around you. We’re all breathing on each other. Where’s your eating facilities? Are they sanitized? Do you have water to wash your hands when you eat your sandwiches?”

He then proceeds to get in a verbal argument with another worker who appears to be a supervisor.

“Where’s the washing facilities for these men?” he shouts.

“They’re not here. You have it by your trailer. You want to protect yourself!”

Labour union LiUNA confirmed to Global News that the man is Jack Da Silva, a business representative from Local 183, and the video was filmed Wednesday morning.

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The specific location of the site was unclear and it is not known what company was managing the site.

“As the premier has deemed all construction essential, LiUNA has called for strict enforcement and improvements of safety standards which must be maintained and monitored,” a union spokesperson said in an email.

“Deplorable conditions of some sites are completely unacceptable and jeopardize not only the safety of the worker, but that of their family as well. We must continue to work together with the Ministry of Labour and all employer partners to keep all workers safe.

“Despite the use of strong language, we stand by Jack Da Silva’s comments.”

The video comes amid mounting pressure from some workers and construction groups that are asking the provincial government to suspend projects on some job sites because of concerns regarding unsanitary conditions.

Earlier this week, Premier Doug Ford ordered the closure of “non-essential” workplaces in the province, but labelled most construction projects an essential service.

He said he has talked to unions and workers, who each want projects to continue.

A LiUNA spokesperson told Global News Radio AM 640 that is the case within their union.

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