This year’s health and safety award winner, Don Postar (CUPE 5555), spoke about putting more teeth into the Westray bill, which holds CEOs and managers accountable for needless injuries and deaths of workers.
“It’s shameful! When a dog bites someone, they put the dog down. When a manager or a company kills someone, they get a $150,000 fine,” said Postar. “Why aren’t we insuring the maximum penalty for these people?”
Pamela Sachs, chair of CUPE’s Airline Service Division, spoke about the federal government’s attempts to up the flight attendant ratio to one for every 50 seats from one for 40, which resolution 8 supported.
Sachs mentioned the narrowly averted disaster in Toronto when an Air France jet ran off the runway into a ravine and all passengers were safely evacuated. “That evacuation wasn’t a miracle,” she said. “It was because those flight attendants did what they’ve been trained to do for years.”
“Contrary to what the airlines say, we’re not waitresses or waiters in the sky. We’re there for that event,” said Sachs. “We are trained safety professionals.”