·  Media Release

Pictou County Unanimously Endorses Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law

PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. – Representatives of the United Steelworkers (USW) and members of the Westray Families Group received unanimous support from Pictou County Council on Monday for a national campaign aimed at better enforcement of a law to hold corporations, their directors and executives criminally accountable for workplace death.

The ‘Westray Law' was passed unanimously in Parliament a decade ago. It came in response to the horrific Westray coalmine explosion in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, that killed 26 miners on May 9, 1992, and after a strong lobby campaign to demand "No More Westrays."

"There's not a single person in Pictou County who wasn't affected on May 9, 1992, and the community continues to struggle with the senseless loss of so many lives," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director. "At the same time, they have never stopped fighting to ensure that other families don't have to face the loss of a loved one.

"It's important to bring our campaign back to the site of the Westray disaster," said Neumann.

In the decade since the Westray Law was passed, more than 9,000 Canadians have been killed on the job, yet not one corporate executive has faced a single day in jail.

In response, the USW has launched a national campaign, called "Stop The Killing, Enforce The Law," asking federal and provincial attorneys-general to take steps to enforce the Westray Law. The union has been making presentations to city councils across the country asking them to endorse the campaign.

Neumann and USW Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt travelled to Nova Scotia to meet with the Westray Families Group, seek endorsement of the union's campaign by Pictou County and lobby government officials to ensure better coordination and enforcement of the Westray Law.

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Brad West, USW Communications, 604-754-1174, bwest@usw.ca


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