The official day of remembrance, April 28th, will soon be upon us. We are reminded of the grim statistics that reflect the reality of the total dead and injured in Canadian workplaces. Many more were discouraged or prevented from claiming compensation for which they were entitled. We also remember the fact that these numbers are made up of real people like ourselves and our families. This is not however purely a day of remembrance, it is a day to call to action. It is a day to recognize changes that will make for safe workplaces for our members and everyone in Canada. It is possible, but the will needs to be there.
The current economic problems have prompted Political powers to take steps against workers. The excuse works to promote the ideology. Governments in Canada have been pushing for deregulation, smart regulation and other catch phrases and clichés. In promoting this course of action, Health and Safety as well as environmental concerns take a back seat to corporate profits.
The alarming increase in asthma and other breathing disorders cries out for a change in the current deregulation efforts. This is but one example of the negative direction we are currently headed. Things will change only with strong regulation and strong enforcement. We must change the direction for safer workplaces and a safer society.
We encourage everyone to come out to the local Day of Mourning Observances in your community. Please come out and bring members from your local, neighbours, and friends. Contact one of us or your Federation of Labour, District Labour Council or your Public Service Alliance of Canada, Regional Office for information on events taking place in your area.
Your Prairie Region Council, Health and Safety Committee:
Clint Wirth, Kevin King and Rahil Ahmad