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Rail workers take privacy fight to Ottawa

October 17, 2017

Ottawa—Unifor rail workers from across Canada are in Ottawa this week to urge the federal government to re-think authorizing workplace surveillance in Bill C-49.

“Recording workers on the job is not a safety tool, it is a surveillance tool,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It is a dangerous precedent and the government has not made the case that these extreme measures are warranted.”

Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, proposes to require all railway operators install and utilize Locomotive Voice and Video Recorders (LVVRs). Unifor says the government has provided little evidence to demonstrate how LVVRs will be an improvement over the “black box” data recorders already installed on trains.

“Open-ended workplace surveillance cannot become the norm in Canada,” said Bruce Snow, Unifor Rail Director. “Legislation like C-49 is the thin end of a wedge towards normalizing privacy violations in other workplaces.”

Unifor submitted a formal response in August and hopes to have the LVVR measures scrapped altogether or be overseen by strict regulation that prevent employers from accessing footage for punitive purposes.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).