Latest News

Steelworkers union calls for criminal investigation, public inquiry into deadly Come By Chance refinery explosion

October 18, 2022

COME BY CHANCE, N.L. – The United Steelworkers union (USW) is calling on the RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit to launch a criminal investigation into the catastrophic explosion on Sept. 2 at the Braya Renewable Fuels refinery in Come By Chance.

The union, which represents hundreds of workers at the refinery, also is urging the Newfoundland and Labrador government to launch a formal inquiry into the disaster, which killed one worker and injured seven others.

Shawn Peddle, a refinery worker and member of USW Local 9316, died in hospital on Saturday, Oct. 15, six weeks after suffering critical injuries in the explosion.

“Our union, our members and families and our community are heartbroken,” said Glenn Nolan, USW Local 9316 president.

“We believe this tragedy was preventable,” Nolan said. “We have called on the RCMP to conduct a criminal investigating of this explosion, under terms of the Westray Law and all other Criminal Code provisions.”

The Westray Law amended the Criminal Code in 2004 to provide for criminal prosecution of employers in cases of negligence causing workplace deaths and injuries. The USW is leading a nation-wide campaign, Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law, advocating for greater enforcement of such Criminal Code provisions.

“We can’t allow for workplace deaths and injuries to be normalized, and for the consequences of preventable tragedies to be no more than paying a fine,” said Myles Sullivan, the USW’s Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

“Our union believes all workers have the right to come home safely from their jobs, every day. We are calling on the RCMP to commit all the resources necessary to investigate the catastrophe at the Come By Chance refinery under a criminal lens and ensure all applicable Criminal Code provisions are enforced,” Sullivan said.

“Our hearts go out to the families, friends and colleagues of Shawn Peddle and all of the injured workers. They all deserve to see that justice is done and that there will be real accountability and meaningful action taken by authorities,” he added.

The USW is calling on the provincial government to launch a public inquiry into the Sept. 2 disaster “to get to the bottom of what happened, to ensure it never happens again,” Nolan said.

Join our newsletter

Media Contact

Myles Sullivan, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario, 416-243-8792
Sylvia Boyce, USW District 6 Health, Safety and Environment Co-ordinator, 905-741-9830, sboyce@usw.ca
Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

Recent news

Image for Quebec Steelworkers on strike at Termaco for cost-of-living protections

Quebec Steelworkers on strike at Termaco for cost-of-living protections

June 19, 2024 | Media Releases

SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Quebec – Workers at the Termaco sheet metal fabrication plant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu are on strike as the company refuses to offer cost-of-living wage adjustments to address years of rampant inflation. The 90 workers, members of the Syndicat des Métallos/United Steelworkers union (USW) began their strike Monday. The workers have suffered significant losses in purchasing […]

Read More
Click to read the article about Quebec Steelworkers on strike at Termaco for cost-of-living protections
Picture: - A group of people taking a photo in a boardroom. Six people are sitting around the table, and four are standing behind them. One of the seated people is wearing a white t-shirt with the USW Pride logo. There is a TV behind the group mounted on the wall, showing a person wearing a blue shirt.

Steel Pride on the job

June 18, 2024 | News Articles

The new Steel Pride Working group kicked off its first meeting in December 2023, bringing together Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + (2SLGBTQIA+) Steelworkers from across the three Canadian districts. The initiative was born out of a resolution to the National Policy Conference in April 2023, which called on the union to […]

Read More
Click to read the article about Steel Pride on the job
A photo of four people wearing satefy gear and walking in a mine. There are mining equipments in the background spread around and large sandy surface. There is text on the top of the photo saying STEELWORKERS HUMANITY FUND UPDATE - June 2024. More text at the very bottom saying: FOLLOWING THE ILMENITE TRAIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF RIGHTS IN MADAGASCAR

Steelworkers Humanity Fund update – June 2024

June 13, 2024 | Publications

Following the ilmenite trail for the defence of rights in Madagascar Since 2019 the Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) has been supporting a project aimed at strengthening union capacity and building solidarity with union partners representing employees at the QMM mine, which is owned by the multinational Rio Tinto. It is mostly ilmenite that is mined […]

Read More
Click to read the article about Steelworkers Humanity Fund update – June 2024