“Kill a worker, Go to Jail” is the chant that expresses the demand of the labour movement to hold accountable bosses who subject their employees to unsafe, even fatal working conditions.
On average, three people per day die in a Canadian workplace and, in addition, nearly one million are injured at work every year in Canada.
“You should be able to go to work confident that you will go home safe and sound.”
So said a number of speakers from health and safety committees, the Union of Injured Workers, and unionists who have dealt with the less than accommodating Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in Ontario.
The annual gathering on the Day of Mourning, at Larry Sefton Park behind Toronto City Hall, drew scores of Steelworkers Union members who came from a national policy conference in town, HERE members, library workers and health care workers represented by CUPE, a couple of mayoralty candidates, two NDP MPPs, and the leadership of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.
NDP federal leader Jagmeet Singh also addressed the crowd. The laws governing safety on the job are fine. The problem is lack of enforcement, claimed Singh.