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Third letter to Minister McNaughton and Premier Doug Ford re three fatalites at National Steel Car in Hamilton

August 18, 2022 | News Articles

August 18, 2022

The Honourable Premier of Ontario Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Via email: premier@ontario.ca

The Honourable Monte McNaughton, MPP
Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development
14th Floor, 400 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
Via email: monte.mcnaughtonco@pc.ola.org
Minister.MLTSD@ontario.ca

URGENT – Meeting request: three fatalities at National Steel Car in Hamilton

Dear Premier and Minister,

On June 6, National Steel Car worker Quoc Le, 51, died in a preventable workplace accident at his workplace in Hamilton. He was the third worker to lose his life in a period of only 21 months. Collin Grayley, 35, died on April 23, 2021, and Fraser Cowan, 51, died on September 2, 2020, in circumstances that are far too similar. This equates to one death every seven months at National Steel Car. It is the worst health and safety record of any workplace in Ontario.

The 75 Ministry of Labour visits and 78 orders and requirements issued to National Steel Car, from June 3, 2021 to June 3, 2022, outlined in the June 17 correspondence from Minister McNaughton’s office, have simply not been effective. The Ministry of Labour’s interventions to date have fallen short of keeping workers safe, with tragic consequences.

This is my third letter to Minister McNaughton, who has yet to return our union’s request for a meeting about this dire situation. The first was on June 7 and the next on June 22. As a union, it is our unrelenting aim to keep workers safe on the job – but we cannot do this alone. I am asking you, as the Premier and as the Minister of Labour, to now intervene to ensure this workplace carnage ends.

It has been more than two months that our office has been trying to set up a meeting with the Minister of Labour’s office about the urgent situation at National Steel Car.

I also note that our legislative officer, George Soule, has been working tirelessly to attempt to connect with McNaughton’s office – to no avail. I would ask that your office attach a stronger level of seriousness to addressing this critical concern.

On Aug. 10, our USW District 6 (Ontario and Atlantic Provinces) Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator Sylvia Boyce and USW Local 7135 Health and Safety Representative Will Foresi attended Question Period at Queen’s Park as MPP for Niagara Falls Wayne Gates asked why Minister McNaughton has not responded to the requests to meet regarding these three fatalities and ongoing health and safety issues at National Steel Car.

I am once again asking you to meet so that together, we can address the significant and unrelenting health and safety catastrophe at National Steel Car in Hamilton. Our union is committed to improving workplace safety at National Steel Car and I ask that you demonstrate the same level of commitment to worker safety.

Please note that my office will continue to contact your office until such point a meeting takes place and you take immediate action to address the aforementioned crisis.

I have included my two previous letters here for your reference.

Letter from June 7, 2022 – Three fatalities at National Steel Car in Hamilton – Immediate Action Required
Letter from June 22, 2022 – Followup letter re three fatalities at National Steel Car in Hamilton

I look forward to your immediate attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Myles Sullivan
District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Provinces)
United Steelworkers union

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