UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

November 25, 2010 16:32 ET

Farm Safety Sellout Continues in Alberta

Leaving Industry to Self-Regulate on Farm Safety Is Like "Asking the Fox to Guard the Henhouse" Says UFCW Canada National President

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2010) - The Alberta government's decision to create a farm safety committee stacked with farm business representatives is like "asking the fox to guard the henhouse," says Wayne Hanley, the national president of UFCW Canada.

"If the corporate farm industry knows so much about safety, why did thirteen people die accidentally on Alberta farms last year?"

Alberta remains the only province in Canada where agriculture workers are excluded from workplace safety regulations — despite a 2009 judicial inquiry that recommended farm workers should be covered.

"For two year's Premier Stelmach has ignored the inquiry's recommendations," says Hanley. "Now the stalling continues by asking the industry what should be done about safety.

"The answer is straight ahead. Provide farm workers the same health and safety coverage as every other worker in Alberta. Anything less is discriminatory, dangerous and deadly."

Over the past decade Alberta farm accidents have claimed 160 lives.

UFCW Canada is Canada's largest private-sector union, and in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), operates ten agriculture worker support centres across Canada.

Since 2009, the UFCW Canada/AWA "End the Harvest of Death" campaign (www.ufcw.ca/harvestofdeath) has raised national awareness about the appalling lack of safety protection for Alberta agricultural workers.

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