Headquarters for Alberta’s largest union was packed to the rafters yesterday morning in recognition of workers who lost their lives on the job.
“These people were important to building the economy to what it is today,” said Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) president Doug Knight. “A loss of life is about the biggest contribution you can make.”
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The National Day of Mourning with ceremonies was followed by an information session on legislation and workers’ rights on work sites — an element that officials say is lacking on job sites, especially with foreign workers.
In 2007, 44 workers were killed on the job in Alberta. According to Occupational Health and Safety, 15 workers have died so far this year.
In a separate news conference, NDP employment critic Rachel Notley released an internal e-mail from a safety specialist in the provincial employment ministry who rejected a call for a ban on working alone in unsafe sites.
“This e-mail shows the Conservatives have spiked a key reform recommended by both labour and employers that would prevent accidents and death,” said Notley.
The idea came in 2000 after the murder of a Subway employee in Calgary’s Forest Lawn neighbourhood.