Workers call on federal party leaders to reverse Bill C4 to make workplaces safer

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 9, 2015

                                       

WORKERS CALL ON FEDERAL PARTY LEADERS TO REVERSE BILL C-4 TO MAKE WORKPLACES SAFER

               

SASKATOON – At the annual Occupational Health and Safety Conference organized by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), SFL president Larry Hubich called on federal party leaders to commit to reversing the Harper Government’s Bill C-4. The Bill considerably weakened the Canada Labour Code and drastically reduced occupational health and safety standards for workers across the country.

 

“I am calling on all federal party leaders to commit to reversing the regressive changes made by Stephen Harper through Bill C-4, should they form government,” said Hubich. “Furthermore, I am urging all federal party leaders to commit to consulting with workers and their unions to develop legislative and regulatory changes that will strengthen occupational health and safety standards and enforcement, not weaken them,” he added.

 

Introduced and passed in late 2013 as part of an omnibus budget bill, Stephen Harper’s Bill C-4 watered-down the definition of a workplace danger – putting the lives of many workers in Canada at risk.

 

“According to Stephen Harper, unless an injury in the workplace is imminent it doesn’t count as dangerous,” said Hubich, “Bill C-4 changed the definition of danger by removing all references to potential or future danger – such as exposure to hazardous chemicals, contact with asbestos, and long-term strain on the body,” he added.

                                                                                                                                                                     

Other troubling changes made by Bill C-4 include removing all independent health and safety officers, limiting the rights of workers to refuse unsafe work, and public servants are now prevented from accessing the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal over workplace discrimination; they must now file their complaints directly with their employer.

 

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The SFL represents over 100,000 working people across the province in 37 affiliated unions.

 

For additional information, contact:

 

Kent Peterson

Strategic Advisor

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

o: 1 (306) 525-0197

m: 1 (306) 570-1855

e: k.peterson@sfl.sk.ca

Saskatchewan's Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!