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Frontline Worker Experience Sharing Event Summary 前线工人经理分享会终结

On Tuesday July 28th we invited four frontline workers from the Chinese Canadian

community to share their experiences working on the frontline. What were their experiences working on the frontline? Here are their stories:

The first front-line worker is a grocery worker working in a chinese grocery store, Ms. Z. She lost her job because of COVID 19. In order to survive, she found work as a cashier in a grocery store. It was also her first time working as a cashier as well. To her surprise, she was not paid any salary for the 10 hours of training. As she was about to leave, her boss also withheld her salary for 10 hours. Her colleagues have no safety measures such as non-slip shoes, and there are even people who are still at work with injuries… It really broke her heart to see her co-workers living and working in such bad conditions in order to survive. Frontline workers in the grocery sector did not get any of the pandemic pay that the government provided, and the meagre 2 dollars that some workers saw were quickly removed by corporations who put profit above all else.

The second frontline worker is Ms. L, who works at the blood bank. Ms. L has worked at the blood bank for many years as a blood donor screener. At the early stage of the pandemic, she was told that she was not allowed to wear a mask at work, or she would be stopped from working. Ms. L was very helpless. Why was the simple measure to protect herself and others not recognized by others, but was threatened to stop work? With the increasing severity of the pandemic, Ms. L's colleagues started to wear masks one after another, but were stopped by their supervisor. During the epidemic, the workload of the blood bank is almost double that of the original. People of all kinds come to donate blood every day, and COVID-19 has an incubation period, once a blood donor carries the virus, the whole blood bank is over. So Ms. L and her colleagues organized together, and negotiated with the management for four hours. They won, they were allowed to wear masks at their own expense, and it was some time before the company began handing out masks and shields. Blood Banks can be regarded as the engine for hospitals. If blood Banks cannot function normally, there will be no blood bags delivered for patients. During the pandemic, the number of blood donation witnesses increased and the staff of blood Banks doubled their work at the risk, but they were not included in the range of salary increase, is that fair?

The third is Mr.T, who held several jobs during the pandemic. His story touched many people. Mr.T has been in Canada for 15 years and has worked in several different jobs. Later, he decided to take further study in nursing, and now he has six different academic certificates. Mr.T was working three jobs at the same time, one as a foot nurse in a senior home, one as a nurse in a long term care center, and the other as a PSW. Due to COVID-19, Mr.T lost his job as a foot nurse. He is still working as a nurse and a PSW. Mr.T enjoys working as PSW, , because he really likes to help and accompany those in need of service. However, during the pandemic, Mr.T said that he was under great pressure at work and felt very uncomfortable wearing an N95 mask,as the mask makes him hard to breathe, also, Mr.T has to move to various clients' homes every day. He was also very worried that he may catch the virus. Mr.T had a patient who lived in a place where he was required to wear protective clothing. After one hour's work, due to the hot weather, his body was soaked with sweat. Patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms may be encountered at any time during work as well. full protective equipment is Mr.T's comrade during the hot summer.

Sometimes he gets a break between the two clients. Mr.T used to hang out in the mall to kill time, but now he can't go anywhere. He can only stay in the car and endure the hot summer. Mr.T, who still insisted on working, brought many concerns to his family as well that Mr.T was worried that he might accidentally carry the virus home, but he is more strongly driven by his sense of mission that makes him insist on working.

The last one is a full-time nurse working in a nursing home for the senior care center, Mr. P worked during the SARS outbreak in 2002 and also a coVID-19 pandemic this year. Mr. P found work as a nurse in 2009 and as an acupuncturist in 2010. His acupuncture clinic closed because of the pandemic, and more than a dozen colleagues' incomes were affected. Then Mr. P was notified in March to wear a mask in the senior care center, and he thinks the protective measures his workplace has taken is considerate.The workplace was managed in different layers, and there was no flow between floors. Management controlled the flow of staff, increased the number of cleaners and guards, and required employees to change their clothes at work. Mr. P felt that government grants helped them a lot, so his workplace is able to stay free of any cases.

However, Mr. P felt that Canada was not sufficiently prepared for PPE in the early stage of the COVID-19. In addition, P was very touched by the support they received from the community, such as medical caps made by volunteers and masks donated by some of their peers in Canada. P felt they were supported and they were not alone in this battle.

These real front-line stories have touched many people. The work condition of these Chinese Canadian workers also represents the bitterness and observation of frontline workers in many different industries. I wonder if you share similar experiences with them. These storytellers, as front-line workers, have a mission to help society function, and as members of a family, they are responsible for their family members. Every front-line worker should be treated fairly: what about wage increases and paid sick days? What about more PPE? What about status for migrant workers? And perhaps more help from our governments and all sectors of society?


第一位前线工作人员是一位华人超市员工,Z女士,她本来有一份谈好的工作,可由于疫情被取消了,为了生存,选择了去华人超市做收银员。这也是她第一次去华人超市做收银员,出乎她的意料的是,她的培训时间10小时没有被支付任何工资,即将离职的她,也被老板扣了10小时工资。同事们没有防滑鞋等安全措施,甚至还有人带着工伤仍然在上班... Z女士感到非常心酸,人们为了生活要经受这么多的苦难。

第二位分享者是在血站工作的L女士,L女士在血站工作多年,给献血者做筛选。在疫情初期被告知工作不允许戴口罩,否则将被停止工作,L女士非常无奈,为什么这么简单的保护自己和他人的措施不能得到别人的肯定,反而还被威胁停工?随着疫情的逐渐严重,L女士的同事们也纷纷开始主动戴口罩,却被他们的supervisor阻止... 要知道疫情期血站的工作量几乎是原来的两倍,每天各种人来献血,而且新冠肺炎有潜伏期,一旦有献血者携带病毒,那么整个血站就完了啊!于是,L女士和同事们组织起来,一起和上级进行长达四个小时的斡旋,最终L女士和同事们赢了,他们被允许自费戴口罩工作,又过了一段时间,公司才开始才派发口罩和面罩。在血站可以说是医疗系统的能量室,如果血站不能正常运转,那么医院就没有血袋供患者使用,疫情期间,献血证者增加,血站的工作人员冒着风险加倍工作,可是他们却没有被包括在涨薪的范围内,这样公平吗?

第三位是在疫情期间身兼数职的T先生,他的故事打动了很多人。T先生来加拿大15年,辗转很好几个不同的工作,后来决定去进修,学习护士专业,目前拥有六个不同的学历证书。T先生同时在做三份工作,一份在老人院做脚护士,一份在护理中心做护士,另外一份做PSW,由于疫情,T先生失去了脚护士的工作。现在仍然在坚持做护士和 psw。T先生非常喜欢做psw,因为自己真的很喜欢帮助和陪伴这些需要服务的人。疫情期间,T先生说工作压力很大,带N95口罩非常难受,闷的喘不过气,每天辗转各种客人家,自己也十分担心!

T先生有一个病人,其居住地方要求穿防护服工作, 工作一个小时后由于天气炎热,全身都被汗水湿透了,没有一块干的地方... 工作随时可能碰到疑似新冠肺炎症状的病人, 每天全套防护装备在身在炎热的夏天工作奔波。有时两个客人中间有点间隔休息的时间,以前T先生会在商场里逛逛打发时间,可是现在哪也去不了,只能呆在车里忍受酷暑... 仍然坚持工作的T先生,给家庭也带来了不少危机,T先生每天都担心自己会不小心携带病毒回家,但是又带着强烈的使命感在前线工作...


但是P先生感觉到加拿大在抗疫前期对于ppe的准备不够充分,后期政府重视疫情之后,才控制的比较好。 另外,让P先生非常感动的是他们还得到不少社会上的支持,譬如从约克区志愿者缝制的医用帽子,从加拿大一些同乡会捐赠的口罩。疫情期间咖啡店还提供给老人院免费咖啡,一些饮食店还提供给老人院免费午餐。

这些真实的前线故事感动了很多人,这些华人的工作情况也代表着华人在不同行业的辛酸与观察, 不知道大家能不能在从中找到自己的影子?这些说故事的人们,身为一个前线劳动者,肩负了帮助社会运转的使命,身为一个家庭的一员,又是肩负了一个家庭的责任。当牺牲了家庭的安危坚持在前线工作,他们值得我们的认可和政府的认可!每一个前线工人是否应该都被公平对待,有涨薪,有更多的防护工具,有更多的社会帮助?

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