Government slammed at memorial

Workers that have been killed or injured on the job were honoured yesterday at city hall as a National Day of Mourning was observed in their name.

Labour unions and groups are pushing for the government to crack down on what the union group sees as a lack of action.

"Our work force is growing, but our government is not putting their money where their mouth is," said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Alberta is one of the most dangerous places in Canada to work."

According to the provincial government though, the number of occupational fatalities in Alberta was down from 166 in 2008 to 110 in 2009.

Marie Clarke Walker, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress, added that even if the number is lower than last year, it still doesn't hide the weekly deaths that occur.

"Twenty workers in Canada and two in Alberta will not come home (this week)," said Clarke Walker. "These deaths need to stop."

Clarke Walker said that until the government starts to follow through with prosecutions on corporations and business responsible for work related injuries and deaths, everything must be done to help the workers.

"When 20 workers die a week, we must do everything we can," she said.

Of the 110 work related fatalities, 49 were from occupational disease, 41 were workplace incidents, and 20 were the result of motor vehicle incidents.

MetroNews, Thurs Apr 29 2010
Byline: Andrew Cowie

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