The leading union in Ontario representing security guards (UFCW Local 333) has appealed to 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.
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.
Security guards are vital frontline workers, first responders, and essential to protecting the health and safety of the Ontario public throughout the year, and certainly during this pandemic crisis.