Criminal conviction in workplace death
Saint-Eustache, Que. — A Quebec employer is the first in the country to be convicted of criminal charges in a workplace death. Transpavé, a manufacturer of concrete blocks, pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the 2005 death of Steve L’Ecuyer. The 23-year-old was crushed by a machine that stacks concrete blocks after pallets with concrete had backed up on the conveyer belt. A safety guard had been disabled for nearly two years. Transpavé was charged with criminal negligence causing death under the amendments to the Criminal Code known as the “corporate killing law” and pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2007. Sentencing is slated for late February.
Summer jobs program launched
Ottawa — Not-for-profit, public-sector and small private-sector employers can now apply for funding from the federal government to hire summer students. Canada Summer Jobs 2008, with a budget of $97.5 million, helps employers create summer jobs for students 15 to 30 years of age. Employers can access application forms online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca/ csj2008. The deadline for applications is Feb. 29.
Montreal firefighters shame city with nod to Toronto
Montreal — To highlight a bitter labour dispute that has been raging for more than a year, Montreal firefighters have decorated their trucks with City of Toronto stickers and are sporting “Toronto FD” T-shirts. Montreal firefighters have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2006, and they’re pointing to the Toronto firefighters’ collective agreement, which guarantees pay increases of three, 3.25 and 3.5 per cent over the next three years, as a model their own city should follow. Instead of relying on brute-force tactics of the past, such as locking managers in offices and piercing needle holes in fire hoses, the union is hoping to shame the city, which has an age-old rivalry with Toronto, into acquiescence. The city, however, is remaining steadfast with its offer, which includes a wage freeze in 2007, followed by increases of two per cent a year until 2011.