Steelworkers applaud Newfoundland breakthrough agreement for victims of occupational disease: Now the search for former Baie Verte miners across Canada



    BAIE VERTE, NL, July 18 /CNW/ - A registry that will help identify former
mine workers of the now defunct Baie Verte Asbestos Mine, who may have
developed asbestos-related diseases, is a major breakthrough for workers'
health, says the United Steelworkers union (USW).
    "This is a breakthrough agreement for the USW and workers everywhere and,
with the critical information obtained through the registry, it will be a
turning point for fair compensation for victims of occupational disease," said
USW Ontario/Atlantic Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator Nancy
Hutchison. "We hope this announcement will set the pattern for other
compensation boards and governments across Canada as we continue to strive for
justice for workers and their survivors."
    The announcement of the registry was made Thursday in Baie Verte by the
Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) of Newfoundland
and Labrador, together with the USW and the Baie Verte Peninsula Miners'
Action Committee.
    Memorial University will carry out the work to complete the information
for the registry, which will include employment history, asbestos exposure
information and health status.
    Asbestos was commercially mined in Baie Verte from 1963 to 1992,
employing about 3,000 workers.
    USW will actively work with its members across Canada, the WHSCC, and
with the Baie Verte community to help locate all former mine employees,
regardless of their health status, and encourage them to register.
    "This agreement recognizes the long-term commitment of the USW to the
Baie Verte miners and to the many health and safety activists across
Newfoundland and Labrador, and in all of Canada who fought for this
agreement," said USW Staff Representative Boyd Bussey. "Steelworkers will
continue to work with the WHSCC to see the results of the registry turned into
fair compensation for the Baie Verte miners and their families."
    The registry is an important first step and USW will be there to support
the next stages to turn this announcement into positive action", said Bussey.
    To contact the Baie Verte Miners' Registry, call1-888-737-7250, or go to
baieverteminers-registry.ca




For further information:

For further information: Peter D. Birt, USW Communications, (416)
544-5966


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