QUEEN’S PARK – During question period Wednesday, NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) asked Doug Ford why his government is ignoring requests to meet with the United Steelworkers following the deaths of workers at National Steel Car. He pressed the Ford Government to meet their obligations under the law and ensure Ontario’s workers were safe at work. He released the following statement:
“United Steelworkers (USW) members are grieving because in June of this year they lost a brother to a workplace death at National Steel Car. His death was the third death in two years at the same workplace. That's three workers whose families will never see them again, whose children will never see them again and whose communities are devastated by the loss.
A worker is dying at National Steel Car every seven months. It could not be more clear that National Steel Car is an unsafe workplace. USW has asked to meet with the Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton to address safety concerns, but they have been ignored. Ford and his ministers must take accountability for unsafe workplaces and take action, including making law enforcement aware of their responsibility to investigate workplace fatalities as required by the federal Westray law.
The Ford government must stop hiding from USW and closing his eyes to workplace injuries and deaths. Every worker in our province deserves to come home after their shift. Ford must listen to USW, hold employers accountable and make workplaces safer before another tragedy happens under his watch.”
Gates indicated he had correspondences from USW which had gone unanswered by the Ford government. Worker’s advocates across the province are calling on Doug Ford to ensure that authorities know the powers they have under the law and make sure employers are held responsible when workers aren’t safe.