Sudbury council supports Steelworkers' Westray campaign
Sudbury city council voted unanimously to support the Steelworkers Union campaign "Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law” at its meeting Tuesday night.
The movement calls on provincial prosecutors to better use the Westray provisions of the criminal code, which allow for criminal charges to be laid in workplace deaths.
Named for the Nova Scotia mining disaster, the law allows for the officials of a company to be charged following a workplace death.
The Steelworkers said the law has lead to three convictions in the last 20 years. The union did push for the law to be used against Vale in the deaths of two Sudbury miners in 2011, but police investigators said there was no basis to lay criminal charges.
"The public expects to see that the guilty go to jail,” said United Steelworkers spokesperson Sylvia Boyce.
“Yet when someone is killed at work, there is no collecting of evidence, as if it were a murder investigation. No charges are laid and no one goes to jail."
Sudbury is the first council is pass a motion in support of the Steelworkers Westray campaign.
City council in Sault Ste. Marie is set to vote on the same issue at a meeting next month.