STELLARTON, N.S. – As family members, their supporters, government and union leaders and community activists gathered today to commemorate the passing of 25 years since the Westray coal mine exploded and killed all 26 men working underground, the United Steelworkers (USW) announced the introduction of an annual scholarship of $2,500.
“One scholarship will be awarded each year to a student in the Stellarton area who is completing high school and pursuing post-secondary education,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
“Applying for the scholarship will be a permanent reminder of the tragedy that has brought so many people together on this day. It is intended to help keep the memory of Westray in the hearts and minds of generations to come. It is another way we can maintain the pledge we have made for the last 25 years – No More Westrays.”
Application forms and details for submissions are available on the USW website, at www.usw.ca/westrayscholarship.
Submissions made this year, which can be in the form of either an essay or a video on YouTube, must be post-marked or emailed no later than June 30, 2017. The winner will be notified by Aug. 15, 2017.
“We are looking for the best expression of one of two possible topics,” said Neumann. “One is how the community has shown determination following the Westray disaster. The other, what legacy the community has been left with as a result of the tragedy.
“The Westray Memorial says the words, ‘Their light shall always shine.’ We hope this scholarship and the submissions that we receive will help keep that light eternal.”
USW is campaigning across Canada for better enforcement of the Westray Law, amendments to the Criminal Code passed unanimously by Parliament in 2003, intended to hold corporations criminally accountable for workplace death and injury. Find out more at www.stopthekilling.ca.
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org