Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

December 24, 2010 06:30 ET

We Remember: Anniversary of Workers Killed in Scaffolding Collapse;

OFL Christmas Message to All Ontario Employers: Beware!

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 24, 2010) - Last year's Christmas Eve deaths of four migrant workers is a poignant reminder of what can, and too often does, happen when companies put profits ahead of the health and safety of their workers.

"This Christmas, we want every employer in Ontario to reflect on the new workplace reality: CEO's, managers and others can be held personally liable if a worker is killed on the job," says OFL President Sid Ryan, who has been at the forefront of the Federation's high-profile Kill a Worker, Go to Jail campaign.

For the first time, C-45 prosecutions are underway in Ontario. The CEO of Metron and others associated with the scaffolding deaths of the migrant workers have been charged under this section of the Criminal Code that not only contains financial penalties, but also the possibility of life imprisonment.

"We are absolutely determined to put an end to the carnage. If a worker is killed, we will be there and do everything possible to ensure C-45 charges are laid if any negligence has taken place," says Ryan.

Last year, there were 478 fatality claims and 253,761 injuries and disease claims. "These are just horrendous statistics. We must never get used to them and think of them as normal. Now that the stakes have been raised and employers also have something very real to lose, we hope to see much safer workplaces," says Ryan.

Over the past year, the OFL has taken the lead in educating police departments across the province about C-45, and it will continue to do so.

"But the best way to prevent deaths and injuries in the first place is to confront bad employers on their own turf and in a way they'll finally understand. That is our resolution for 2011," says Ryan.

Today, the OFL remembers and honours the migrant workers killed and injured last Dec. 24: Aleksanders Bondarev, Aleksey Blumberg, Fayzullo Fazilov and Vladimir Korostin died when their scaffolding collapsed, an accident that could have been prevented. The lone survivor, Dilshod Marupov, will be physically impaired for the remainder of his life.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Sid Ryan
    Ontario Federation of Labour
    Lynn Simmons
    Communications Director