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United Steelworkers: Campaign Progress

A CBC article from Jun 15, 2016 on the criminal investigation of a workplace fatality indicates that progress is being made in the enforcement of the Westray Law as a result of a campaign led by the United Steelworkers (USW). 

"The death Olivier Bruneau appears to be both predictable and preventable," said USW Nation Director Ken Neumann. "The possibility of criminal negligence must be thoroughly considered, but is no consolation to a grieving family. Our anger is mixed with condolences and a desire for justice."

Christian Bruneau - OOSHEW Safety Training Vancouver
[Christian Bruneau, Olivier's father, says he wants police to lay criminal charges.] (CBC)

"The goals of our union's campaign to 'Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law' have been endorsed by municipalities across Canada, including the City of Ottawa only last week. Olivier Bruneau knew the dangers of the pit he was working in but, like many workers who warn about hazards, he was the victim of a gamble by his employer to put him at risk in an unstable icy pit."

The USW lobbied Parliament for years leading up to the 2004 enactment of Westray Law which is intended to hold corporations, their directors and executives criminally accountable for workplace deaths and injury. The law was named after the 1992 explosion at Westray Coal mine in Pictou Country, Nova Scotia, that claimed 26 miners lives, 11 of whose bodies remain entombed in the mine. Only a park and a memorial remain on the ground above the long-abandoned mine tunnels.

"Next year marks 25 years since Westray," said USW Ontario/Atlantic Director Marty Warren. "Our job will never be complete until there are no more Westrays, and no more deaths like that of Olivier Bruneau."

Details of the campaign and support are available at www.stopthekilling.ca.


[Video from the Stop the Killing campaign website.]

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW) & CBC

For further information: Marty Warren, USW District Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, mwarren@usw.ca, 416-243-8792; Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Sylvia Boyce, USW Health and Safety Coordinator for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, sboyce@usw.ca, 905-741-9830; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

RELATED LINKS

http://www.usw.ca 

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