OTTAWA, July 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Unifor is applauding a ruling this
afternoon that a two-person armoured car crew was justified in refusing
work due to working conditions that were unsafe for the workers and the
"This is a very important ruling that backs up what Unifor has been
saying. Two-person crews are unsafe for both the crew members, and for
the public," Unifor Staff Representative Mike Armstrong said.
An Employment and Social Development Canada health and safety officer
issued a ruling this afternoon on the case of two Brinks crew members,
members of Unifor Local 4266, who refused work due to unsafe conditions
at two Ottawa malls, saying the employees were justified in declining
to service customers at the malls. Two similar cases in Sudbury and
Peterborough will be heard in November.
With a two-person crew, one crew member must walk through the malls
alone to serve Brinks customers there, while the other stays behind
with the vehicle.
"Two-person crews such as this increase the risk of robbery, and that
puts both the crew members and the public at large at greater risk,"
Armstrong said. "Cost cutting cannot come at the price of risking
Industry statistics show that 70 per cent of armoured car robberies in
the last 10 years have been against two-person crews. Unifor met with
the federal government last year to discuss safety concerns in the
armoured car industry, and to push for a taskforce to look for ways to
Today's ruling follows another last year in favour of a Brinks
messengers in Peterborough and Sudbury, who refused to carry cash to
and from an automated teller machine without a guard, saying it was
unsafe for him to carry the money alone while the other crew member
stayed in the truck.
In January 2014, a two-person crew was involved in a shootout during a
robbery at Toronto's Fairview Mall. A similar robbery took place in
Montreal about a month later, also involving a two-person crew.
Unifor has called for a task force on the armoured car industry to
conduct research, gather stakeholders' views and develop
recommendations and legislation to address a patchwork of out of date
and ineffective regulations for the industry.
For a copy of Unifor's review of the armoured car industry and complete
recommendations to improve its safety, go to unifor.org/safecargo.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, with more than
305,000 members, including 2,000 in the armoured car industry. It was
formed Labour Day weekend 2013 with the merger of the Canadian
Autoworkers with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.
For further information:
For more information, contact Unifor Communications staff representative Stuart Laidlaw at 647-385-4054 (cell) or staff representative Mike Armstrong at 613-882-4949 (cell) or 613-523-0434 (office).