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Help! factory employees hurt on the job in Montreal, looking for a lawyer who can be passionate probono

by risa

My friend is in a terrible work situation, one which has damaged his body and mind, and has asked me if I can help find someone to fight what is being done to him and his fellow factory employees- not in some sweatshop overseas, but right here in Montreal.

The employees of a local Plastics Company are being treated like slaves, and some of them believe that this is how Canada is, or at least Quebec; and that they never should have expected more. This breaks my heart. I have to believe this company is a cruel and illegal exception to be stopped, not the rule.

But I’m not a lawyer, I know nothing about how to deal with a union that seems only interested in getting my friend to shut up and quit bothering them with paper work; or a company with a pack of lawyers that seem willing to try any form of manipulation to keep their workers intimidated. I am not equipped for this- but I know there must be someone out there who is.

My friend has been fighting the company for over two years, since ripping his shoulder muscle using a machine he was told to work on by a manager.

There have been shocking lapses in justice- including important evidence not being presented in court, company doctors lying about the damage to his shoulder, and people being fired for trying to stand up to the company. Threatened with loss of employment, workers have gone back to dangerous jobs with unhealed injuries, including broken bones, too scared to even file an accident report. The company takes advantage of that fact that most employees only speak English as a second language and no French to make them stay in a damaging situation. I have met many of these people, and I think that if a real lawyer or law firm was able to convince them he or she was going to stick with them and work to make this stop, that many of them would come forward.

Currently my friend is being told he has no right to disability or insurance, that his time has run out, that he must return to his job at the place where he was injured and that even if he does so he may lose his seniority and pension. He is a completely upstanding citizen, but is functionally illiterate so people seem extra inclined to dismiss him and push him around.

The legal aide who took my friend’s case was a young guy, and he quit broken hearted about 6 months ago, claiming he had never had to fight such a wicked company. Now everyone seems to be trying to get my friend to just be thankful for a job and to go back to work in the place where he suffered psychological and physical trauma, including having the life of his children threatened.

My friend has spent the past years living off the charity of friends and the religious institutions where he volunteers. He says he has nothing left to lose and so he wants to fight this till the end so they will know they cannot treat people this way. Now he is ready to sue, but until now he has been trying to do everything the right way, trying to follow exactly what he’s told, and to be respectful. He worked for this company loyally for almost 20 years before getting hurt and in that time was praised for his abilities and given responsibility for training other workers.

Please if anyone out there can help him understand what is happening and help put things right- he is open to all suggestions!! These injured and mistreated workers need to be able to find a passionate and dedicated laywer or law firm to take their case pro bono and fight this company. They just need someone to stand up for them.

If you can take a minute to think of anyone you might be able to forward this to, anyone who might be able to help take on this company or who might know someone who knows someone- please do it.

If you think you can help- contact me at [email protected] and I’ll put you in touch.

Thank you very much for your time.

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