TORONTO, June 26, 2012 /CNW/ - "No one has yet gone to jail. Until
individuals are held accountable for worker deaths, workers will
continue to take their lives in their hands by going to work," said Ken
Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.
Metron Construction has pleaded guilty to criminal negligence for the
2009 deaths of four Toronto workers who fell from scaffolding on the
job. Prosecutors are seeking a $1 million fine for the company,
meanwhile their president will not be personally fined or see any jail
"There have to be real consequences, for employers who are negligent, or
they will continue to be so," said Wayne Fraser, USW Director for
Ontario and Atlantic Canada. "It's time to set an example to show that
negligence doesn't pay."
The 2004 Westray amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada made it
easier to hold corporations criminally liable for failing to keep their
employees safe. "Since the Act was implemented, 8,000 workers have died
on the job in Canada, only three employers have been convicted, but not
a single person has gone to jail," said Neumann.
"While the fine against the company is historic, as long as individuals
are off the hook for negligence in workplaces they control, workers
will continue to be at risk," says Neumann.
Only one of the six workers on the swing-stage scaffold was attached to
a safety line at the time of the tragedy. Occupational Health and
Safety Act regulations state there should have been only two workers on
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, United Steelworkers email@example.com 416-434-2221