Every year we remember and honour those who have lost their lives on the job. In Canada about 4 people a day are killed at work.
On April 28, 1914 the first Workers Compensation Act was made law. Since then many more laws protecting workers have been added but still, too often, a ordinary day at work turns into a tragedy.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) says: “The number of people killed at work each year in Canada has risen for the past 15 years. This is in contrast to almost every other OECD country where the incidence of workplace fatalities is declining.”
The CLC says our laws compare well with other countries. The problem is enforcement.
That’s why unions want corporate criminal liability taken seriously. Since 2004 the law mandates prison sentences for employers whose actions cause death or serious injury. But few, if any charges, have been laid.
This year’s Day of Mourning focus is the call to appoint special prosecutors to enforce the corporate criminal liability section of the Criminal Code of Canada.
IBEW members are encouraged to observe a minute of silence and to support local events organized to mark the day. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’s System Council No. 11 represents Canadian railway signal and communications workers.