TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The union representing 45,000
transportation workers in Canada says that the federal Transportation
Safety Board (TSB) recommendations released today are weak and will not
adequately protect the public from future accidents. The TSB's Railway
Investigation Report reviewed the Lac Mégantic rail disaster and was to
provide guidelines to prevent future loss of life.
"We're very disappointed with the recommendations in the TSB report,"
said Jerry Dias, Unifor's National President, "Public safety has to be
the top priority for rail transport reform. The Board wasted an
important opportunity to make our rail system safer." Unifor supports a
public inquiry into what went wrong at Lac Mégantic and how it can be
prevented in the future.
According to Dias, the union believes the key recommendations of the
report—audits and physical mechanisms—put too much emphasis on existing
measures that are not effective or enforced. Instead, the union
recommended increasing the regularity of full safety and maintenance
inspections and closing loopholes that allow companies to seek
exemptions to safety rules.
"People die when governments shirk their responsibility to monitor the
movement of dangerous cargo. This is not an area where we can afford to
cut corners," said Dias. "The bottom line is that our rail safety
system needs better enforcement of the rules, and that means more
trained professionals on the job."
There have been 10 reported runaways since the Lac Mégantic disaster.
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto
Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
With more than 305,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the
For further information:
please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) or Ian.Boyko@unifor.org