United Steelworkers Union Local 1-425 financial secretary Bob Macnair urges council to adopt a bylaw calling to enforce the Westray amendments to Canada's Criminal Code.

United Steelworkers Union Local 1-425 financial secretary Bob Macnair urges council to adopt a bylaw calling to enforce the Westray amendments to Canada's Criminal Code.

Steelworkers push for work safety resolution

United Steelworkers union local wants the city to adopt a resolution demanding the Westray Amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code be enforced.

The local United Steelworkers union local wants the city to adopt a resolution demanding the federal government enforce the Westray Amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code.

On May 9, 1992, 26 miners died underground in a “preventable and tragic” mining accident in Nova Scotia, said Bob Macnair during a presentation to Williams Lake city council.

Macnair is financial secretary for Local-1-425 and reminded that sons, brothers and fathers didn’t come home to their families that day.

“The accident was caused by methane gas and coal dust and so far only 15 bodies have been recovered,” he said. It took 12 years, but in March 2004, the Steelworkers lobbied and brought in Bill C-35, which received a unanimous vote by all parties in the House of Commons.

An endorsement, which Macnair said by today’s standards is considered unusual.

The union has put its pedal to the metal and made similar presentations to communities across Canada.

“We represent 1,300 workers in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House,” Macnair said, explaining that members work in mines, mills, home support, truck driving and recycling.

When Coun. Ivan Bonnell asked if the union is doing other preventative measures outside the bill to ensure workers have the right to refuse unsafe situations, Macnair replied, “absolutely.”

The unions all belong to Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which meets regularly.

“All our safety representatives go to those meetings,” Macnair said.

When a worker refuses to work because of safety, certain steps unfold.

First a foreman goes to do an inspection, and if the worker is still unsatisfied then a WorkSafeBC representative is brought in to rectify the problem to the worker’s satisfaction.

“We hope council will accept our request,” he said.

“We have had fatalities here in our local and we’re not trying to send every CEO or superintendent to jail. But when there’s 1,000 people killed across Canada every year, we’re just saying when there are culpable circumstance enforce the law. Stop the killing.”

Council received Macnair’s request in principle and referred to committee of the whole for staff to put the wording together for a resolution.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 president David Brideau salutes the Cenotaph at city hall during a past Remembrance Day services in Williams Lake Monday, Nov. 11. Brideau, who served three years with the Canadian military in Edmonton, was the parade commander during the Legion’s Remembrance Day service. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake legion looks to upgrade lounge, patio, to be COVID compliant

Upgrades will require significant financial investment, Branch 139 president David Brideau said

Williams Lake’s Daine Dubois (left) and 150 Mile House’s Isaac Bedford have been named as recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Tribune file photos)
Two Cariboo athletes honoured with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

“You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families.”

A worker at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
B.C. Mining Month celebrates innovation

Mining has long been important to the Williams Lake economy

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read