Steelworkers Welcome Criminal Charges in Sudbury Worker’s Death
Jul 31, 2018 ·
– The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomes criminal charges against a
Sudbury company and its owner in relation to a worker’s death in 2017.
criminal investigation and charges validate our union’s campaign for
greater enforcement of the Westray amendments to the Criminal Code. We
hope the charges will be prosecuted as soon as possible,” said USW
Ontario Director Marty Warren.
“We have lobbied for several
years for stronger enforcement of the 2004 Westray Law that was
intended to hold corporate directors, executives and managers
criminally accountable for workplace death and injury,” Warren said.
Dionne, 39, an employee of Rainbow Concrete, was killed on Feb. 15,
2017, when a concrete slab fell on the dump truck he was operating,
trapping him inside.
Rainbow Concrete owner Boris Naneff has
been charged with criminal negligence causing death. The company also
faces the same Criminal Code charge.
The Ontario Ministry of
Labour has laid 12 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
against Rainbow Concrete, its owners and two supervisors in relation to
Rheal Dionne is survived by his wife and their
son, as well as his parents. Rheal’s father Julien Dionne is a retired
USW member in Sudbury who was a lifelong workplace health and safety
USW Local 6500 in Sudbury has been supporting the
Dionne family and has offered representation to the family for the
criminal prosecution process. The union also has worked with Sudbury
police on awareness and training issues related to the Westray Law.
commend the Greater Sudbury Police Service for conducting a criminal
investigation into this tragedy and for proceeding with Criminal Code
charges,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
been more than 10,000 workplace-related deaths in Canada since the
Westray Act was enacted and there have been very few criminal
convictions and even fewer jail sentences for employers responsible for
these deaths,” Neumann noted.
“Unfortunately, police officers in
Canada are still not trained and directed to properly enforce the
Westray Law. Our union and many allies across the country will continue
with our national campaign to demand that the Westray Law is enforced
to the greatest extent possible,” he added.
The USW campaign,
Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law, calls on provincial and territorial
governments to implement specific measures to ensure greater
enforcement of the Westray Law. For details on the campaign, visit www.stopthekilling.ca.
USW also is calling on the new Government of Ontario to do more to hold
companies and their directors accountable for workplace death and
“The Premier and his Attorney General and Labour
Minister must initiate protocols and training for prosecutors and law
enforcement to ensure enforcement of the Westray Law. These are
critical investments that are needed to ensure safe and healthy
workplaces in Ontario,” Warren said.
“The Ontario government must step up and enforce the law – for the people.”