We remember workers killed, injured in ‘job’

Community Opinion & Analysis May 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm

weRemember_billbrd_2014EN_600Toronto is the National Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job. As Canada’s leading and most progressive union, UFCW Canada recognizes the Day of Mourning to remember the countless workers who have tragically died on the job, as well as to honour those who have endured a major injury at work.

Every year, more than one thousand workers are killed on the job in Canada, and the number of people killed at work has risen for the past fifteen years. Most of these deaths are preventable and they are typically caused by the failure of employers to ensure safe and healthy workplaces. They are also the result of governments at all levels failing to enforce health and safety laws and neglecting to hold employers accountable for workplace fatalities.

Everyone has the right to a safe and healthy job, and the most effective way to guarantee a safe working environment is to join a union to secure binding health and safety language through collective bargaining. Our governments also need to hold corporations criminally responsible for workplace deaths, so that companies and managers know they’ll be brought to justice for neglecting worker safety. United both in grief and our determination to ensure that every worker is safe, UFCW Canada’s message on this Day of Mourning is clear: “Kill a worker, go to jail.”

As members of Canada’s leading union, it is essential for us to make clear to our governments and employers that even one worker death is too many, and that’s why our union will continue to fight for safe jobs and healthy working conditions across the country.

In solidarity,
Paul R. Meinema
National President, UFCW Canada Human Rights