Unifor welcomes proactive approach to transport safety

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor, representing 46,000 members in the transportation sector, welcomes today's call by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) for a more proactive approach to safety across the nation's transportation network.  

"We're encouraged that the TSB intends to hold consultations in the coming weeks to push safety measures forward," said Unifor Assistant to the National Secretary Treasurer Jenny Ahn. "As a key stakeholder Unifor expects to be part of the conversation; this dialogue must stretch beyond government and industry leaders to include both concerns and solutions from frontline workers."

The announcement came as the TSB released its latest Watchlist, outlining urgent safety issues in the air, marine and rail industries. The report makes several recommendations that Unifor supports, including: recognizing the serious impact that scheduling has on crew fatigue and recommending that the industry, working with labour, immediately implement fatigue science to crew scheduling; calling for new tank car standards and risk controls to reduce the danger in transporting flammable liquids by rail; the use of physical defences against railway signal violations and the installation of Locomotive Voice and Video Recording (LVVR) in the Canadian locomotive fleet for accident investigation.

The union however opposes the call by the rail industry for unrestricted access to voice and video recordings to surreptitiously monitor their workers.

"The industry should not attempt to leverage the injuries and deaths of its employees and the public, which could have been prevented with collision avoidance technology, in order to spy on employees," said Unifor National Rail Director Brian Stevens.    

Unifor maintains the focus of the TSB must be on the introduction of fail-safe technology that would prevent a train from running away, missing a signal or colliding with other trains.  Adapting collision avoidance technology, which is readily available in motor vehicles, would be a better use of TSB and Transport Canada's resources.  Video and voice recordings will not prevent a single accident, be it in rail, marine or aviation, but collision avoidance technology will.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 members.


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

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