"While legislation of this type is a responsibility of the provincial governments, I believe that this is an area where your office could provide much needed leadership." — James Clancy, National President, NUPGE
Ottawa (16 June 2015) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is calling on the federal Minister of Labour, Dr. Kellie Leitch, to use her position to encourage provinces to enact pay-before-you-pump legislation.
In a letter to the Minister, James Clancy, NUPGE's National President, points to the tragic and avoidable death of Maryam Rashidi — a 35-year-old Calgary resident and mother, who was killed by a stolen truck as she was attempting to stop a gas-and-dash while at work.
Another avoidable death of a gas station attendant
Ms. Rashidi’s death is yet another avoidable death of a gas station attendant who was working alone late at night.
Following Rashidi’s death, the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) has called for pay-before-you-pump legislation, something that already exists in British Columbia and other jurisdictions. In addition, the AFL is calling for mandatory employee training and legislation that will establish an employer’s responsibility to keep late-night workers safe.
Federal government should show leadership
Clancy writes that while "legislation of this type is a responsibility of the provincial governments, I believe that this is an area where your office could provide much needed leadership."
"You could use your position as the federal Minister of Labour to encourage and assist provinces in introducing and adopting pay-at-the-pump legislation and enacting related safety measures."
Minister could use office to move issue forward
Clancy is urging the Minister to take three steps to help make pay-before-you-pump legislation a reality in every province:
- Publicly announce support for pay-before-you-pump legislation
- Commission research on best practices for protecting these workers and draft model pay-before-you-pump legislation that could be adopted by provincial governments
- Include the issue of pay-before-you-pump legislation on the agenda of the next meeting of provincial Ministers of Labour.
Now is the time for action
"Too many people have died already" wrote Clancy. "Too many families have felt the pain of losing a family member through an avoidable accident. The time to act on this matter is now."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE