Supreme Court to hear Giant Mines widows' appeal

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Unionist
Supreme Court to hear Giant Mines widows' appeal

Striking miner Roger Warren was found guilty of causing the explosion that killed nine scabs working at the Giant Mine on September 19, 1992. The NWT and Nunavut Workers’ Compensation Board filed suit on behalf of eight widows against the employer, the union, the NWT government, and Pinkerton's - and were awarded $10.7 million in a rather bizarre (IMHO) and highly controversial decision. The NWT Court of Appeal overturned that decision in 2004, ruling that none of the defendants had any ability or responsibility in controlling Warren's actions.

Now the [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2008/11/27/scoc-giant.html?ref=rss]... Court[/url] has agreed to hear the appeal against that latest decision.

Holding unions liable for the actions of members who are engaged in criminal behaviour outside of and contrary to any union policy or direction is a nice wet dream for employers everywhere. All they'd need is one agent provocateur to break the unions' back for good. I feel sorry for the widows, but I rather fail to understand why anyone owes them anything except for Roger Warren, the insurance companies, and the government, to the same extent that it ought to look after anyone in financial distress or who has lost an income support.

It's particularly unfortunate, and rather horribly ironic, that they have allowed themselves to be used as anti-union cannon fodder.

lagatta

I don't feel sorry for the widows. Their husbands were scabs. Why wouldn't they be complicit in union-busting? If they were class conscious they would have left the blaggards.

Now, I certianly don't advocate setting off bombs to kill scabs - stink bombs and fake pizza deliveries will do nicely, as well as the usual humiliation and silent treatment back on the job - but the union had absolutely nothing to do with the action.

munroe

My heart adopts Lagatta's comments; my head those of Unionist.  This is a potentially disasterous case, particularly given the unseemly tactics of provocation we often see in organising campaigns, demonstrations and strikes.

triciamarie

I hope that the SCC will clarify that accidents that occur in the course of employment -- including those reasonably incidental to employment -- attract statutory workers compensation benefits, exclusively. WC in Canada is a no-fault system. There is no place in the analysis for assessing negligence on the part of the employer or the employer's agents, nor contributory negligence by "fellow servants" or their union. The scab miners' voluntary assumption of risk in entering the mine in that fraught strike situation is also irrelevant to the determination that they were injured in the course of employment and therefore they, or their estates, are barred from suing the employer.

These old common law principles of employer negligence and the "unholy trinity" of common law defences are creeping back into the vocabulary as lawyers and WC boards increasingly focus on apportioning blame for work accidents, among other employers, manufacturers etc. Injured workers themselves are also targets, at least in the war of rhetoric, although usually not in the legal sense.

Unionist

Good news:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/02/18/giant-mine.html]Supreme Court rejects Giant Mine widows' claim[/url]

 

G. Muffin

Lagatta, that was a hateful thing to say. Worthy of Anne Coulter.

Unionist!!!

I thought we were buddies.

G. Muffin

FYUT

G. Muffin

My husband's diabetic. Do you hate ME?

G. Muffin

Good Lord, where are my pills this morning?

And my port.

God All Mighty.

I was having such a good morning.

And now I'm screwed.

G. Muffin

Oh, never mind. I found some Diet Pepsi With Lime.

$9.99 @ Thrifty's.

A scab store that I frequent.

 

G. Muffin

THAT HIRES THE DISABLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's why I pay their ludicrously over-inflated prices.

Jackasses, all of you.

G. Muffin

Fuck On. It's enough to make me open Atlas Shrugged. And you don't want me to do that. Not with my glasses on, you don't.

Unionist

G. Muffin, we are buddies. Nothing can change that.

 

j.m.

lagatta wrote:
I don't feel sorry for the widows. Their husbands were scabs. Why wouldn't they be complicit in union-busting? If they were class conscious they would have left the blaggards. Now, I certianly don't advocate setting off bombs to kill scabs - stink bombs and fake pizza deliveries will do nicely, as well as the usual humiliation and silent treatment back on the job - but the union had absolutely nothing to do with the action.

I do feel for the widows, the people killed and the workers at the mine, including he who planted the bomb. This is about labourers being pitted against eachother for profitability not because employers/capitalists are inherently assholes, but that they have to - necessarily - do violence against their workers (through compressing costs via increased productivity and/or reduced wages, blah blah blah) to maintain profitability and to succeed. They have to become assholes.

 

G. Muffin

Their husbands were "scabs." That's all Lagatta needs to know to turn off her empathy. And that's all I need to know about this issue. You remind me of Anne Coulter claiming that 911 widows enjoyed their status. That's beyond offensive.

Unionist

EFA, the widows received from workers' compensation exactly the same as anyone else whose spouse is killed on the job. Not sure if you knew that. They went to court to get more - by blaming the employer and the union (!) for their husbands' death, rather than just the murderer. They tried, they failed. Justice was done.

 

G. Muffin

Oh. No, I didn't know that.

My grandmother lost her first husband on the job. I trust decent people would have empathy for her. It's not that easy to make a life for yourself when you're a legal secretary with an infant. And, yet, she did.