The fact is that our members interests and those of the employer are not the same. Employers have control over the work we do, where we do it and how we do it. They control the pace of our work and whether the conditions are healthy and safe. Were the ones who risk our health and our lives.
Joint health and safety committees are now being used to depoliticize health and safety issues. Employers appeal to our members strong concern about everyones health and safety. They tell union representatives on joint committees that they arent there just to represent the interests of union members that they have a greater responsibility to both the employer and workers.
And so, health and safety has become an increasingly specialized field, and many union representatives on committees have become technical experts. And when CUPE health and safety representatives try to take activist, strong positions with the employer or their fellow workers they are often isolated by the employer, and sometimes their co-workers and fellow union members.