Toronto – April 25, 2013 – On April 28, as we remember workers who have been killed or injured on the job, we must also remember to keep up the fight for the living.
Tragically, thousands of workers, every year, have their life changed because of a major injury while hundreds more lose their life because of their work. No job is worth dying for, yet 919 people lost their lives in 2011, the most recent year for which we have statistics. These are not accidents, they can be prevented. It is important to remember that Canada still has one of the highest rates of workplace deaths in the industrialized world, and even one death is still one too many.
Nothing can bring back those who have died, but a message has to be sent that cutting corners on health and safety and employees being killed is not acceptable. If and when an employer willfully neglects health and safety, knowing that someone can be injured or killed – they should be held criminally responsible. Corporations and their representatives need to be held accountable.
As members of Canada’s largest private-sector union, it’s essential for us to be leaders in the movement to make sure our governments are responding to negligent employers with a very strong, clear message: “Kill a worker, go to jail.”
To find out more about the Day of Mourning ceremonies in your community, click here.