EDMONTON, July 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Following today's robbery of armoured guards near the Mill Woods Town Centre in Southeast Edmonton, which resulted in the shooting death of one person, Unifor is urging the federal government to develop stronger industry safety and training laws to protect the public and prevent robberies.
"This robbery resulted in bullets being fired in a residential area," said Unifor Western Director Joie Warnock. "The current laws are simply not doing enough to keep armoured car workers and innocent by-standers safe."
Unifor, representing more than 2,000 armoured car guards across Canada, is calling on federal politicians to pass Bill C-285, a private member's bill tabled last month by Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster). The bill calls for the development of comprehensive national safety and training standards for the armoured car industry, including the regulation of crew sizes, vehicle specifications and safety equipment.
"Bill C-285 calls for reasonable safeguards and regulations to be put in place," said Warnock. "Unifor is asking all parties to support it to ensure speedy passage."
Canada has witnessed more than 85 armoured car robberies since 2000, resulting in five deaths and countless physical and mental injuries. Including this morning's robbery in Edmonton, there have been 12 major armoured car robberies in the country since 2014. Each robbery has involved a two-person armoured guard crew and many have occurred in public spaces and near residential areas (similar to the TD Canada Trust branch near Mill Woods).
Through its national campaign launched in 2013, Unifor has raised concerns regarding the over-use of two-person (instead of three-person) crews, especially at night and during higher-risk runs.
"Having that extra set of eyes in the vehicle, to forewarn the crew that there is suspicious activity or danger, can help prevent major catastrophes, including for the public who happen to be nearby," said Mike Armstrong, Unifor national staff representative and lead on armoured car industry matters. "If stronger workplace policies can save even one life, it's worth it."
For more information on Unifor's campaign visit: www.unifor.org/safecargo
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers.
For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative, Kathleen O'Keefe at Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell)