SGEU/NUPGE says new law improving safety conditions for highway workers is welcome.
Regina (29 April 2013) – The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) applauds the Saskatchewan government’s initiative to step up safety procedures in highway construction zones. At the same time, the union is appalled at the position taken by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation on an issue that truly is a matter of life or death for workers.
Drivers to be ticketed for speeding in construction zones
“SGEU has advocated for improved safety measures for highway workers for years, and is pleased that government is introducing photo radar for road work areas, and directing Highway Transport Patrol officers to issue tickets to drivers speeding in the orange zones,” says Barry Nowoselsky, public service negotiating committee Chair.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has publicly stated that photo radar in the highways construction zones is little more than a cash grab for government.
Changes will help save workers' lives
“In light of the death of flag person Ashley Richards last summer, and Saskatchewan’s unacceptably high number of worker deaths every year, it is astounding that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation would speak out against changes that will help save lives,” says Nowoselsky.
“Many frontline highway workers have experienced near-misses as vehicles speed through work areas. It is not unusual for flag people to be forced to dive into a ditch to avoid being hit,” he adds.
“We commend government for improving safety conditions for workers. At the same time, we urge the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to re-evaluate its priorities,” says Nowoselsky.
The comments by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Prairie Region, on this issue were reported in Regina’s Metro newspaper on April 26.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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