Steelworkers Call for Full Police Investigation into Fiera Foods Fatality

TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - "The death last week of a young worker at Toronto's Fiera Foods should be investigated by police as a potential case of criminal negligence and not just as a workplace accident," says United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director Marty Warren.

"As Canada's largest province, there is no excuse for not treating a fatality in the workplace as a crime scene," said Warren. "Our union has been campaigning hard across the country for stronger enforcement of changes to the Criminal Code, which we fought for and which hold companies like Fiera Foods criminally accountable for workplace death and injury."

Warren said the USW offers sincere condolences to family and friends of the woman, who was asphyxiated after she was caught in a conveyor belt.

"Events like this create a ripple of anguish and it is our union's aim to make it stop, through better enforcement and coordination among police, prosecution and regulators," he said. "Other provinces, like British Columbia, have protocols that require police to determine whether a death or injury was caused by criminal negligence. In Nova Scotia, there is a dedicated prosecutor for workplace incidents like this. 

"In Ontario, there is little or no coordination between law enforcement and regulators under the Ministry of Labour. This means justice is rarely, if ever, served in Canada's largest province. It gives too much freedom to employers to get away with fines as a cost of doing business. It has to stop."

Find out more about Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law, at www.stopthekilling.ca.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Marty Warren, USW Ontario/Atlantic Director, 416-243-8792, mwarren@usw.ca; Sylvia Boyce, USW Ontario/Atlantic Health and Safety Coordinator, 416-544-5971, 905-741-9830, sboyce@usw.ca

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