Hogg’s Hollow tragedy remembered

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Fifty years ago, on March 17, 1960, five Italian immigrant workers, Pasquale Allegrezza, Giovanni Battista Carriglio, Giovanni Fusillo, Alessandro and Guido Mantella, died in a tragic accident during construction of a tunnel at Hoggs Hollow.
The Hogg's Hollow tunnel where five workers died in 1960 from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Their deaths from drowning and carbon monoxide poisoning 10 metres underground in a cramped, dimly lit tunnel, sparked a public outcry over the lack of safety standards in construction. In the wake of the needless tragedy, labour and community groups pressed for a Royal Commission inquiry, which ultimately led to better safety and labor laws.

Yet, five decades later, "workplace fatalities and accidents still occur, because  safety regulations only work when they are backed up by rigorous inspection and enforcement,” says Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada.

“So to truly honour the memory those killed at Hogg’s Hollow — and all workers killed  and injured on the job— the labour movement must remain vigilant that employers and the  government live up to their responsibility to ensure a safe workplace,” says Hanley.

"We must also continue to press Alberta and other jurisdictions which shamefully treat the lives of farm workers as worthless, by continuing to exclude those workers from the protections of thse provinces' Health and Safety Act. Whether it’s in Alberta or any workplace else in Canada, a worker is a worker, and one unavoidable death or accident on the job is too many.”