·  media advisory

Healthy Jobs, Minds, Bodies: USW National Health, Safety and Environment Conference

TORONTO - Mental health in the workplace and enforcing the Criminal Code will be major focuses for about 200 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) from across Canada next week.

Healthy Jobs, Minds and Bodies is the theme of a National Health, Safety and Environment Conference, to be held October 6-8 at the Delta Toronto East Hotel, 2035 Kennedy Road.

"The economic and social stresses of the 21st Century mean workers need not only physical health and safety vigilance, they also need psychological health and safety," said Conference Chair and USW National Director Ken Neumann.

"Beyond that, Canadian workers are still being killed at a rate of about 1,000 a year and corporations are still not being properly held accountable, despite Criminal Code amendments that are supposed to make that possible."

Neumann said the conference will feature panels and speakers who specialize in both physical and psychological health as they relate to work.

The conference also will highlight the Steelworkers-led national campaign to enforce the Criminal Code amendments passed unanimously by Parliament a decade ago.

"Those amendments, known then as the Westray Bill, are intended to hold corporations, their directors and executives criminally accountable for workplace death and injury," said Neumann.

"But we are simply not satisfied with the extremely poor efforts at enforcement across the country. Our campaign is directed at provincial attorneys-general, who are elected and responsible for Criminal Code enforcement."

Families of workers killed on the job will tell their stories in a closed-door session at the conference.

Speakers in open sessions will include USW International President Leo W. Gerard, NDP Official Opposition Labour Critic Alexandre Boulerice, Nova Scotia Chief Crown Attorney for Special Prosecutions Andrew Macdonald and psychiatrist Dr. Diane Meschino.


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For more information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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