Unifor encouraged by federal safety ruling for armoured car workers

OTTAWA, Dec. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor welcomes the Ministry of Labour's ruling to support a refusal to work by an armoured car worker, employed at Brink's Canada Limited. Today's decision backs an earlier federal Ministry of Labour ruling into the "all off" model employed by many companies in the armoured car industry. 

"This decision stresses the lack of safety of front-line armoured car workers," said Mike Armstrong, Unifor National Staff Representative and lead on armoured car industry matters. "While the directives in this order are specific to Brinks Canada Limited  we call on the entire industry to recognize this ruling and immediately halt the use of two-person, all off crews, which unnecessarily expose the driver and messenger to risk as they both exit the armoured car at drop-offs and pick-ups." 

The Ottawa area armoured car worker refused to work, citing safety concerns associated with the "all off" model. In August, a prior Federal Occupational Health and Safety Branch Investigation concluded with a decisive ruling to direct Brink's Canada Limited operations in the City of Edmonton to immediately alter its practice relating to the driver and messenger both exiting the armoured vehicle. 

Today's ruling cited the previous findings and expanded the August directive, which is currently under appeal by Brinks Canada Limited, beyond Edmonton. Both investigations confirm Unifor's long-standing position on the importance and safety benefits of three-person crews, which allow the driver to stay on-board to keep watch over fellow workers.

Unifor, representing more than 1,500 armoured car personnel across Canada, has been working to make the industry safer through the establishment of federal standards in employee training, vehicle specifications, safety equipment requirement and crew complements.

Canada has witnessed more than 85 armoured car robberies since 2000, resulting in five deaths and countless physical and mental injuries. Since 2013, each publicly-reported robbery has involved a two-person armoured guard crew, with many occurring in public spaces or near residential areas.

For more information on Unifor's campaign visit: www.unifor.org/safecargo

Unifor, founded on Labour Day of 2013, is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every sector of the economy. 

SOURCE Unifor

For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell)

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