Ottawa – April 23, 2015 – This year, safer and healthier workplaces could be just one election away.
Every year, thousands of Canadians are killed or injured on the job or die from work-related diseases. Yet, this is something few of us think about when we mark our ballots at election time.
“This year, as we get set for the next federal election, it is crucial for UFCW Canada members and all Canadians to support and vote for politicians who advance the interests of the 99 percent, make a stand for fairness, and protect the well-being of workers by properly enforcing health and safety laws, including the criminal code when necessary,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema.
In 2013, more than 900 workers died because of something that happened to them at work. That’s just what was reported, but we know the real numbers are higher. Hundreds more die from under-reported illnesses and occupational diseases that go unrecognized by unfair government compensation rules or simply aren’t reported because workers can’t afford to take the time off.
Workers in Canada today are four times more likely to die because of something that happens to them at work than to be murdered. Yet, many of the men and women we elected to represent us in 2011, who claim to be “tough on crime,” aren’t so tough with employers and companies responsible for workers’ injuries and deaths. In fact, many of them have supported new laws that take away long-standing health and safety rights from working people.
This year, we can change things by electing a new government and by making sure the people we vote for are committed to improving workplace health and safety.
Later this year, let’s remember those who have lost their lives because of their work, or who have been injured on the job. Let’s vote for the candidate who will commit to safer, healthier workplaces. Let’s vote in a federal government that will enforce the laws that will protect our health and safety at work.