We need our health and safety protections expanded and enforced

Every Day of Mourning, we remember the hundreds of workers who are killed, and thousands who are injured across Canada in workplace accidents.  We light candles for the workers, and many deaths go unreported because in many provinces the most vulnerable workers like farmworkers

This year, federations from coast to coast to coast issued statements about worker health.  Nearly every single statement talked about provincial governments turning a blind eye to workplace injuries by cutting resources necessary for enforcement of labour standards and passing laws that weaken health and safety standards.   Links to the statements are provided on the Canadian Federation of Labour website.

We found a couple of campaigns you can support to demand safety at work.  If you have others please send them to us.

In 2012, two separate sawmill explosions, at Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills in British Columbia, killed four workers.  Read the Revolution 101 series blog about the botched investigations here.  The workers complained about the accumulation of flammable wood dust, WorkSafeBC declared the accident preventable, but today no one has been charged with criminal negligence for the killings. Sign this petition to demand a public inquiry into this botched investigation.  

In Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is publicly covering up 1,150 workplace fatalities, a third of all the lives lost over a nine-year period.  Sign the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) petition demanding that all fatalities be counted, here.  Earlier this year, the Ontario Federation of Labour also released a report detailing the how the Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is rebating millions of dollars each year to companies that have been found guilty of offences that resulted in employees being killed in workplace accidents.  It will take you more than three minutes to read the report, but it is well worth the read.  

In Alberta, 120 worker fatalities were accepted by the WCB in 2014.  However farmworkers are not covered by the Alberta workplace safety regulations.  Read about that here.

Information recently uncovered by the Working Families Manitoba Campaign showed the provincial government isn’t always enforcing the rules that keep workers safe at work. Employers that fail to comply with safety rules are not being penalized or fined. The MFL wants the province to apply the law and hold employers that put workers at risk accountable. Sign this petition to have your voice heard on the issue of improving workplace safety.

The National Day of Mourning was born of the values of the union movement, to mourn the dead and the sick and the injured.

But let us fight, too, for the living. Let us fight for safe workplaces.  Every day.

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