Harper Conservatives Attack
Workplace Health and Safety
Who: The Harper Conservative federal government
What: Have introduced changes to the federal labour code to reduce health and safety protection for workers in the federal jurisdiction, including federal crown corporations. For our union this means mainly airline and airport workers. These changes were introduced as part of an “omnibus” bill (C-4) with hundreds of unrelated provisions to other Acts, so that it would pass with little or no public scrutiny.
C-4 narrows the definition of “danger” in the Canada Labour Code to make it harder for workers to refuse to work in proximity to toxic chemicals or radiation, particularly when it will cause chronic conditions or damage the reproductive system. It gets rid of government health and safety officers, and gives the federal Labour Minister final say on whether to even investigate an unsafe workplace.
Why: Even though no credible stakeholders called for these changes, the Harper Conservatives are doing favours for the bosses who they represent, by weakening workers’ right to refuse unsafe working conditions.
Where: At the ballot box.
When: In 2015, at the next federal election, we need to elect a Canadian government that will reverse these unfair changes, and work to make our workplaces safer.
All Health and Safety Stewards will now be easier to identify in our workplaces at Hudbay Manitoba Division thanks to an idea from Ken Bateman, new Health and Safety Representative. Safety Stewards will be wearing gray hard hats making them quickly distinguishable from other workers. IAMAW1848 Safety Stewards Derald Groff (left) and Ken Oliynyk model the new hard hats. The Safety Steward is there to protect your rights and to ensure the employer abides by the Manitoba H&S Mines Act. If you have any concerns regarding Health and Safety look for the new gray hard hat or contact the IAMAW1848 office at 204-687-4293. Remember we have legislation in Manitoba that protects workers from doing unsafe work. You have a RIGHT TO REFUSE work you feel unsafe for yourself OR any other worker. Let us stand together to protect this Provincial Legislation. The Federal Progressive Conservatives have already weakened the Federal Right to Refuse Legislation by hiding changes to it in an omnibus bill masquerading as a Federal Budget bill. Be Safe, Keep Informed, Stay Unified!
Can you make a difference? You bet you can. The best way is to get involved. We at 1848 encourage you to participate in life’s dialogue. Engage yourself in the workplace conversations, debate the latest media buzz, take part in the discussions regarding your future. What is your employer’s immediate plan? What is their long term plan? Take some time each day to explore your options and plot your future. Check out the links on the website for the Machinist’s Union, the Manitoba Federation of Labour, and the Canadian Labour Congress. All these groups work together protecting the rights of the worker.
On 18 March/14 Rene Beauchamp, LL1848 President and Erik Nasselquist, LL1848 Trustee/Communicator traveled to Winnipeg to take part in website design and editing at District 181 Offices. The training was hosted by Frank Saptel, IAMAW Communications Representative from Toronto . In the photo below, clockwise from bottom left are: Erik, Rene, Siggy Schuhmann LL608, Wayne Relf District 181, Randy Gluchi LL741 and Ian Morland, Grand Lodge Representative.
Photo: Frank Saptel.
The new website will deliver information readily to our members and the public. As we progress you will see updated posts keeping you informed on all issues that pertain to us locally, provincially and federally. Your Union leadership welcomes you to our informative new site.
We are happy to be able to provide up to date information to our members through this new web site. Now we can keep the membership informed instantly. Informed and educated members will strengthen our union. Collectively we can continue to enhance the standard of living of all Canadians.