TORONTO, July 13, 2012 /CNW/ - "Four workers were killed and no top
executive is going to see jail time. That's the crime," said Ken
Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers (USW). While
Metron Construction was fined $200,000, the charges against the
president of the company were dropped.
"Steelworkers are pushing for the Westray Act to be enforced. The Metron
sentence highlights the continued need for the justice community to be
better educated on the Westray Act," Neumann said.
In 2004, Westray amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada made it
easier to hold corporations, managers and directors criminally liable
for failing to keep their employees safe.
"Unfortunately, prosecutors, police forces and attorneys general have
failed to use the legislation," said Wayne Fraser, USW Ontario and
Atlantic Canada director.
"Just yesterday another worker was killed at work, at a construction
site in Markham. It's a tragedy. Workers shouldn't be risking their
lives by going to work," said Fraser.
From 2004-2010, there were 7,045 workplace deaths in Canada, but not a
single corporate executive or director has been jailed.
"We're still waiting to hear from the Ontario Attorney General about
potential criminal charges in the deaths of two Vale miners in 2011,"
"If the Westray Act were enforced, maybe then negligent bosses would
change their ways and keep workers safe," Neumann said.
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the tragic explosion that killed 26 miners in Nova
Scotia, the Steelworkers have launched a campaign to raise the profile
of the Westray Act for members of all levels of the justice system.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director, 416-544-5951
Denis St. Pierre, United Steelworkers, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-544-5990