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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Sunday, December 11, 2005 ::

    Why No Inquests into Logging Deaths? - By Quentin Dodd, TheTyee.ca
    Rick Whiteford, sawmill safety officer for Local 1-80 in the area from Victoria north to between Parksville and Qualicum, said he's been on the union staff for about five years and he can't remember a single inquest into a forest-industry death in that area in that time, despite a number of fatalities.

    Whiteford said that no one seems to be holding the companies responsible and the union doesn't have the authority to do much about it, either.

    'It's outrageous,' said Whiteford, noting that in addition to this year's 41 deaths in the woods, there have been 98 serious, disabling injuries according to the B.C. Forest Safety Council.

    Whiteford saw irony in the fact that the latest logging-industry collective agreement says anybody with a 'physically-demanding or dangerous' jobs isn't allowed to work longer than 10 hours a day, five days a week.

    But various companies have implemented new schedules for woods personnel, including truck-loggers, calling for personnel to work anywhere between 12 and 16 hours and work 11 days or more in a row. One company currently wants woods personnel to work 14 days straight for 11.5 hours a day before getting seven days off, Whiteford said.
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