UBCM Overwhelmingly Endorses Steelworkers Campaign to Enforce Westray Law

BURNABY, BC, Sept. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Local government elected officials from British Columbia have voted overwhelmingly to add their support to the United Steelworkers' campaign to "Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law."

Delegates to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention, representing every B.C. municipality, considered a resolution submitted by multiple communities demanding that senior levels of government work cooperatively to ensure that the Westray Amendments to the Criminal Code are enforced in cases where corporate negligence results in the death of a worker.

United Steelworkers western Canadian Director Stephen Hunt says the endorsement adds significant momentum to the union's campaign for worker safety and that the provincial and federal governments can no longer ignore this critical issue.

"The UBCM's endorsement of this campaign sends an unmistakable message to Victoria and Ottawa - it's time for action. Over 1,000 Canadians a year are dying at work. It's unacceptable and it's preventable," says Hunt.

"The Westray Law was passed unanimously by the House of Commons to hold companies accountable and it's up to government to follow through on the promises they made to the families who've lost loved ones. It's time for them to enforce the law."

The UBCM's endorsement follows months of lobbying by the United Steelworkers which has resulted in municipalities across Canada passing resolutions demanding proactive steps be taken to address workplace death.

"Local government leaders in British Columbia are helping us lead the way. With their support, we are now asking local government associations in other provinces to join our fight. This campaign is about ensuring that every day that workers leave for work, they come home to their families," says Hunt.

"We're pleased that mayors and councillors understand the critical importance of this issue and we're asking senior levels of government to work cooperatively with us to make safe workplaces a reality for every worker no matter where they live and work."

More information about the United Steelworkers' Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law campaign is available at www.stopthekilling.ca

SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director, 604-816-2554
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-313-9185, bwest@usw.ca


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