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    :: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 ::

    The legal connection - Where are all the Bill C-45 prosecutions? - Author: Cheryl A. Edwards, Canadian Occupational Safety magazine
    First, pressure from trade unions and workplace safety advocates for criminal prosecutions will continue to mount. The political clout of organized labour played an important part in the enactment of Bill C-45. The United Steel Workers of America, who represented the workers at the Westray mine, actively lobbied the federal government to enact new criminal provisions to motivate organizations and senior management to take a greater role in protecting worker safety. It is not unrealistic to expect that organized labour will be equally active in attempting to convince prosecutors to bring more criminal prosecutions for behaviour which has led to workplace accidents.

    Indeed, in the United States, the United Steel Workers, along with the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, are engaged in an ongoing campaign to pressure local prosecutors to bring criminal prosecutions against corporations that consistently and flagrantly violate occupational health and safety laws. Pressure south of the border has been mounting for years for more criminal OSHA prosecutions and more stringent criminal penalties. The United Steel Workers in Canada states on its website that the 'next challenge' with respect to Bill C-45 is to 'ensure that the law is properly enforced'.
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