Union calls for inquiry into mining safety

OTTAWA, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - One of Canada's largest unions is calling on the government of Saskatchewan to hold an inquiry into safety practices in the mining industry after 20 workers were confined underground overnight following a fire.

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada President Dave Coles stressed his union's great relief that the workers came away relatively unscathed from yesterday's fire at the Potash Corp-owned mine near Rocanville.

"But this is no time to rest on our laurels," he said, noting that the potash industry has seen more than 50 fatalities in Saskatchewan since its inception in the late 1950s, with three in the last in two years."

In January 2006, he recalled that 72 miners, members of CEP Local 890 and 892, survived a fire at Mosaic's potash mine in Esterhazy, "thanks again to workers' vigilant safety practices."

"I have to wonder how many more accidents we have to have before somebody dies again. An inquiry to see if proper safety procedures and protocols are being followed is definitely in order. One accident is one too many."

CEP has always made emphasis on safety procedures a top priority in the workplace. In the energy sector, CEP's Health, Safety and Industrial Relations Fund provides top-notch education program and leading-edge research on health, safety available to about 10,000 members working approximately 40 employers.

CEP is the largest union in several key sectors of the Canadian economy, including forestry, energy, communications, and media.

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628

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COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

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