WATERLOO, ON, 18 Oct. 2016 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director Marty Warren today thanked Waterloo city council for joining hundreds of municipalities across Canada that support the campaign to improve enforcement of a 2003 law intended to hold corporations, their directors and executives criminally accountable for workplace death and injury.
"USW members fought to get the law changed in the first place," Warren said. "Now our members are asking all levels of government to demand better enforcement and prosecution. More than 1,000 workers a year are killed at work, and the lack of proper investigation by police, and therefore the absence of prosecution, means justice is not being served."
The Criminal Code amendments passed in 2003 are known collectively as the Westray Law, named after the 1992 explosion that killed 26 miners at the Westray Coal Mine in Nova Scotia.
"While the federal government should show leadership on urging enforcement of a law passed unanimously by the House of Commons 13 years ago, local governments can help put pressure on provincial attorneys general to direct better enforcement and prosecution," Warren said.
Following a presentation by USW Local 838 President Nick Lizun, Waterloo city councillors voted immediately and unanimously to endorse a resolution calling for Crown attorneys to be directed to apply the Westray amendments, as well as for dedicated prosecutors to be responsible for health and safety fatalities.
The motion also calls for police to be educated, trained and directed to apply the Westray amendments and urges greater coordination among provincial regulators, police and Crowns. Health and safety regulators must be trained to reach out to police when there is a possibility that Westray Law charges are warranted.
For more information, go to www.stopthekilling.ca.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Marty Warren, USW District Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, 416-243-8792, [email protected]; Sylvia Boyce, USW Ontario/Atlantic Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator, 905-741-9830, [email protected]; Nancy Hutchison, USW National Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator, 416-544-6001, [email protected]