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Campaign by Steelworkers Leads to Agreement With Police on Mining Injuries and Deaths

July 29, 2016

BURNABY, B.C. – A campaign by the United Steelworkers (USW) to lobby federal, provincial and territorial governments to enforce the Westray Law in cases of employer negligence causing workplace deaths has scored a significant victory.

The B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the province’s police agencies enshrining a protocol for the investigation of mine-site fatalities and bodily harm.

The MOU states that its purpose is to “ensure the investigation of any work-related death or bodily harm is conducted in a thorough, timely and effective manner with a view to the broader public as reflected in the respective legislative mandates of the participants.”

USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt says the move is welcome news to workers employed in the mining industry in B.C.

“Our union’s first priority is to ensure the health and safety of all workers, but if tragedy strikes we also want to ensure that employers are held accountable. There are far too many examples of workers dying and employers getting off the hook. Through this MOU with police agencies, a clear message is being sent to mining companies that if they are negligent in a case of workplace death, they will be criminally investigated and held accountable,” says Hunt.

More information about the United Steelworkers’ Stop The Killing, Enforce The Law campaign is available at www.stopthekilling.ca.

Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director 604-816-2554
Brad West, USW Communications 604-313-9185, bwest@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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