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More to be done on rail safety, Unifor commemorates Lac Mégantic tragedy

TORONTO, July 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor National President Jerry Dias is calling on the federal government to take measures to better regulate the rail industry, in light of the anniversary of the Lac Mégantic disaster.

"There should have been a public inquiry into why this happened and why Montreal, Maine and Atlantic railway was repeatedly given exemptions, on staffing levels in particular," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "How is it that the federal government has shirked their responsibility on this issue?"

"The tragedy of Lac Mégantic highlighted on a national stage the need to strengthen workplace safety standards in the rail sector, including mandating adequate staffing," said Jerry Dias.

"It is not acceptable that anyone should lose their life due to an accident that could have been easily avoided," said Jerry Dias.

The union has been a loud advocate pushing for greater safety standards within the rail industry. This includes examining the use of level crossings which have repeatedly been associated with deadly collisions. Unifor is also advocating for a total modernization of Canada's passenger rail system, bold new plan that would introduce high speed rail to Canadians, boost jobs and help reduce our environmental footprint.  Read Unifor's research on overhauling passenger rail in Canada: http://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/passenger-rail-canada

Unifor represents approximately 9,000 rail workers across Canada. Unifor was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged. The union represents more than 305,000 workers in every economic sector.

SOURCE Unifor