United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union
200 Ronson Drive, Suite 300, Etobicoke, ON, Canada, M9W 5Z9 • 416-243-8792 • 416-243-9573 (Fax) • www.usw.ca
March 17, 2014
This year we have launched our Westray II campaign: Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law. This year is also the 22nd
anniversary of the Westray Disaster that instantly killed 26 people and made victims of many survivors.
We made a pledge to the victims and survivors that there would be “NO MORE WESTRAYS". We campaigned
for over 12 years to deliver one of the key recommendations of the inquiry to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to
hold those responsible for the deaths and serious injuries of workers through negligence, be held criminally
accountable. We mourned for the dead and fought for the living!
Unfortunately governments, regulators, police and crown counsels have not seen fit to use the law and workers
continue to be victims of negligence. Each year about one thousand workers die because of their work, thousands
more suffer serious injuries or suffer life threatening diseases.
Every year we mobilize on April 28th and gather to fight for the living and mourn for the dead. Steelworkers have
been fighting since the creation of our union and in that tradition we must continue.
This year we will also remember the Elliot Lake tragedy, where we discovered that workers were deliberately
exposed to radon. Many workers became sick and many others died. We mourned for the dead and fought for the
living. We took our fight to politicians and that resulted in the first health and safety strike in Canadian history. It
also led to the Ham Royal Commission. We fought for and attained the right to refuse unsafe work, the right to
know what hazards we are exposed to and the right to participate on health and safety committees. We mourned for
the dead and fought for the living!
In 2005 we saw the British Columbia forest industry lose 43 workers to on the job deaths. We mobilized and
demanded governments, regulators and employers take responsibility. We put workplace death and injury in front
of the public and demanded action to "Stop the Killing". It worked because the government changed laws, the
regulators added workplace inspectors and employers demanded changes on how dangerous work was
performed. The results were significant reductions in workplace injuries and death. We mourned for the dead and
fought for the living.
So what can YOU do? This year, please participate in the Day of Mourning ceremonies in your community. Ask
your locals, area council and labour council to support our campaign. Go to our website www.stopthekilling.ca and
sign our petition, download and distribute our materials and tell your family and friends to do the same.
Go to your municipal, provincial, territorial and federal politicians and demand that they take action to help stop the
killing and enforce the law.
When you go to the Day of Mourning this year, remember the Elliot Lake miners from 40 years ago, the Westray
miners from 22 years ago, the forestry workers from 9 years ago and remember the thousands of workers that are ill,
injured and killed because of their work.
The Day of Mourning is one day each year and it is time to remember those who lost their lives due to their
workplaces, but it is also the time to recommit to fight back every day to Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law.