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Injured workers occupy offices of six Ontario politicians in benefits protest

Injured workers in Ontario have occupied the constituency offices of six provincial politicians, including the premier and Opposition leader, in protest of a workers' compensation system they say leaves disabled labourers in poverty.

The protest, organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour, has seen hurt workers occupy the offices of Premier Dalton McGuinty and four of his cabinet ministers.

Workers have also entered the riding headquarters of Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

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OFL president Sid Ryan says the sit-ins are meant to draw attention to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board practices he says shortchange labourers. He says the protest will end this afternoon.

The labour group wants to roll back a 20 per cent cut to benefits made in 1996 under former Tory premier Mike Harris, and for benefit payouts to be indexed to inflation. He also says compensation for workers shouldn't be reduced if the board deems them capable of working a lower-paying job.

Though the changes were made under a Tory government, Mr. Ryan says the McGuinty Liberals have allowed the practices to continue.

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